Mobile Marketing – notes from a train journey!

 

bloglovin

As we close the first month of 2012, with plans for the year in progress, I am sure most businesses are undergoing some change. With economic and EU/UK political uncertainly pulling down, developments in technology are continuing to push businesses up into new territories and marketing opportunities.

I am watching with interest, and working with businesses on the impact that mobile technology is having on their brand and marketing planning. The consumer need for full integration of marketing and communication platforms can create its challenges in our ever-increasing mobile world!

Indeed, as I write this, I am sitting on the 6.05am Tiverton Parkway to Paddington train. I have just seen an ad for the new liquid foundation (will explain all in a future blog – but a long overdue launch from a great brand!) in a magazine, use the QR code that is displayed to find out further details on line, then check on comparison sites where I can make the cheapest purchase, and then order the item to be delivered to my home address the following day.

I have a sip of my decaff coffee (milk and a sweetener) and then move onto checking out some of my favourite (in terms of marketing) fashion brands.

I am a fan of H&M at the moment. Typically a high street retail business model, the brand is making giant leaps with digital media to drive sales.

They are experimenting with virtual changing rooms, customer service Twitter feed, linking their e-commerce site to You Tube and blogs. I sit here working out what I should treat myself to, need something great to wear with my new foundation!

Taking it one step further, is Needle. This is great and I am sure will become an essential marketing tool for UK brands.

Needle puts customers who are looking for product information and recommendations directly in touch with product experts. And here’s the clever part. The product experts are other people who use their products – the brand’s most passionate fans, recruited from social media sites like facebook and Twitter. The theory here is that these “fans” who use the products will offer better advice than any call centre. Advice is given through online text, video or voice chats. As a thank you to the “fans,” the brands allow the experts to earn points – which in turn is used to buy more products from the brand, growing their expertise! According to Needle, a chat with a Needle product expert is “the equivalent of having a personal shopper giving real-time reviews and recommendations to your customers based on rich, interactive dialogues.

Catching the train has never been so much fun!

Social Media = New Customer Service

bloglovin

Calling all brands – how are you interacting with your customers via your social media sites?

The Social Media Customer Service Report conducted by TNS and commissioned by customer care outsourcing provider Sitel, surveyed more than 1,000 UK consumers and found that 57% of consumers preferred to search online to solve their customer issues, and then interact with customer service on social media channnels such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs and forums over any other method.

The good news here is, if you have a great website and are using a variety of real-time information on social media platforms, your consumers are very likely going to resolve their query by posting a question on your website, or view your tutorial or demonstration from your web, or from details on your launches on your blogsite.

But, if you haven’t developed a social media customer service strategy as part of your grand plan, now is the time to do so.

Here is a checklist for you;

1) product demonstrations on line
2) detailed product information
3) forums to chat about your product lines
4) twitter and facebook customer service teams
5) regular blog sites to push out information flow
6) maintain strong phone support – don’t you hate that when you cannot find a phone number to ring on some websites!

Due to my love of beauty brands, I have had a sneak about on facebook and twitter today to get a sense of customer’s comments today.. if you get a moment, take a look:-

www.facebook.com/gillette; good level of interaction with consumers, loud messages coming through on the price of blades!

http://www.facebook.com/MaxFactorUK; blocking customer feedback and interaction on the site, but great at product tutorials.

http://www.facebook.com/moltonbrown; a feast of customer feedback, no need for brand managers here to do focus groups!

http://www.facebook.com/misshoneyuk; great positive customer feedback for this lovely small growing brand.

http://www.facebook.com/BootsOfficialUK; really great, open messaging.

So the watch-out. Your social media strategy will blur into your customer service strategy, so make sure you are ready!

Paul and Joe Spring 2012…

bloglovin

Paul & Joe’s spring 2012 Meow! makeup collection can now be previewed. The line celebrates the Paul & Joe’s 10th anniversary, and the inspiration of the collection is the founder’s love of cats.

I am sure most of you are familar with this line of products, and their fusion of the Parisian philosophy of enjoying life, mirrored with its kitsch, retro-chic packaging.

For innovation seekers check out the new Blusher Sticks (£21 each)… they’re shaped like cats! They come in shades: Glamour Puss (soft beige), Minou (pastel pink) and Cat Fight (energetic tangerine).

And the the lipsticks have inprints of paw prints on the lipstick bullet. They come in shades: Glamour Puss (soft beige), Minou (pastel pink) and Cat Fight (energetic tangerine)!! Don’t you love it!

The line is launching on 1st February, so when you get your paws on the products, do let me know what you think!

New from Nivea – New for Gifting

bloglovin

Nivea have just made a giant leap in the mass gifting market.

In a previous life, I was responsible for Gifting at Procter and Gamble, and have since maintained a huge interest in the beauty gifting marketing.

I am really impressed with Nivea this Christmas.

In conjunction with a facebook app (created by Agency Republic), Nivea, with the skincare brand’s ‘Feel Closer’ positioning (created by Draftfcb), have enabled shoppers to make Nivea giftsets a more thoughtful gift.

Consumers can use the app to buy and send a friend a Nivea gift set, which will be wrapped in personalised wrapping paper featuring photos they have both been tagged in on Facebook.

The free wrapping paper will can also include comments they have made on each other’s Facebook walls in a strategy that aims to conjure up thoughts the friends have shared and memories of the fun times had together.

The Beiersdorf-owned brand first launched its ‘Feel Closer’ positioning in August in an attempt to shift brand perceptions and re-engage women.
It hopes to target women aged 30-54 by encouraging the use of Facebook to share “moments of closeness” by uploading photos and liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s pictures.

With gift packs ranging from £6 to £13, the campaign offers affordability, but it’s the personalized wrapping paper that will entice custom.

During a time when there is concern with the growing commercial closeness of facebook and certain brands, I think Nivea have got this one right.

Are you thinking of setting up a new business? Or working with someone who has?

bloglovin

I have been meeting some fascinating people, mainly in Devon, many of whom are tempted to take the big step and set up a new business.  I have started to develop  a quick way of telling whether I think they are up for the challenge, which helps me decide if I should be working with them.  My mental checklist is as follows:

1) Good innovators and creators: Some people have a strong history of creating, and starting things on their own.  From selling freshly caught mackerel on the beach as children, through to doing 3 jobs whilst paying their way at University, to creating additional revenue streams alongside their “day job.”  The skills acquired are those of immense resourcefulness of successfully building something from nothing.

2) Thought and planning: Successful entrepreneurs have thought, or more likely dreamt, about running their businesses from a long time, and are not acting on a whim.  They are deliberate in their intention, and have fully thought through the possible serious downsides.

3) Excitement: They are excited.  Genuinely thrilled that they are working on something that they have created.  Getting them to talk about anything else is actually quite difficult!

4) Resourceful: The business owners also are fantastic at turning their hand at whatever is needed. One minute product developing, the next on business development, the following day cleaning the loo’s!  In start ups there are simply too many roles and too few people to do them.  So the ones that are working well are where the business owners are experts in their fields, and importantly are willing to step out of their comfort zone and roll up their sleeves!

5) Good at prioritising: And finally, I had a boss once who called projects “The Big Rocks (TBR’s).”  It is really important new start ups identify “TBR’s” and prioritise them,  keep them running to budget, and to time.  Smaller, less important tasks should be only completed once TBR’s are in good shape.

If you look out for these little clues when working with a new start up, hopefully you will avoid wasting time on ones that have simply not had enough planning time or a strong enough desire to succeed.

Lucy Goaman