Could EU stop EE and O2 in their tracks?…

Perhaps it’s surprising that EE and O2 have only recently announced new ‘big data’ insight services as a way to monetise their mobile network data. Having seen a presentation from one of them at a conference last year, illustrating the potential power that lies within its data, I know that the service will be of huge interest to brands.

The analysis was carried out for a large retail shopping centre and looked at shoppers’ behaviour as they browsed in stores. A significant percentage of shoppers were using mobiles to compare in-store prices with online ones; the most common website visited being Amazon.

The real insight is the extent to which people are shopping in this way, something that is worrying high street retailers, and is confirmation of the websites being used to make price comparisons. Armed with this insight, shopping centres can develop strategies to combat its effect.

The only spanner in the works might be the latest draft EU data protection legislation, which I understand contains articles that could limit the ability to profile personal data, including a requirement for data controllers to allow consumers to opt out of their data being profiled.

Let’s hope that the actual implementation doesn’t prevent such important analysis from being carried out.

Nick Tusler, data operations director, TMW

…and data trading must be a two-way street with users

Data remains a tricky subject. On the one hand, the natural reaction among these pages is to applaud brands for putting customer insight and ‘big data’ to an intelligent and profitable use. It’s savvy, clever, forward thinking etc.

However, the consumer demand for a more fair and transparent return in the data exchange process means it needs to be a two-way street – a simple reciprocal transaction where a customer becomes engaged with the brand, and in return is rewarded with some form of value. How will customers feel if, instead of experiencing the warm glow of a mutual value exchange, brands sell their data for their own gain?

Yes, in the long-run, it should theoretically benefit the consumer as other brands put the insights and analytics to work. But in an age where privacy is such a delicate subject, is it really wise to short-change your customers by casting aside the value exchange system that is mandatory in today’s marketing landscape? Customers will ultimately give the answer to that question.

Mike Fisher, chief futurist, Indicia

Experiential is the route to brand love

It is true that price promotions are becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. It is also true that shoppers are a fickle bunch when it comes to brand loyalty.

But while the article focuses on the rise in the number of price promotions in recent years, I want to add that now, more than ever, brands are having particular success with their promotional campaigns when they integrate an experiential element. In fact, promotional experiences are beginning to have a more direct commercial agenda, where brands can – and indeed should – use the increased emotional connection as an opportunity to build on the brand relationship.

 To pick up on Ian Morley’s comments, you will create brand loyalty by targeting the strategic cycle of the brand while focusing on performance and innovation. If you continue to drive trial in the new forms, create excitement in store and place the new product in people’s hands so they can experience the benefit, they will become loyal.

This is where a well-conceived experiential campaign answers the brief perfectly by delivering all of the above. The campaign will excite in a creative, memorable and fun way, with the benefit of stand-out from traditional promotions.

Measurement from campaigns does show that experiential not only creates brand loyalty, but also brand ambassadors who will spread the message. This is an important bonus as word of mouth is becoming more of an influence on purchase through both peer groups and social media.

Ian Priestman, project director, Blackjack

Vine can make loyalty grow

With regard to your article ‘Why brands should pay attention to Vine’, SMEs in particular should be ready to use the new technology to optimise their marketing campaigns. The launch of Vine has been greeted with mixed opinion, but it brings some good opportunities for today’s marketer. With content and digital marketing high on the agenda for many businesses, this latest edition will allow them to better combine media-rich video content with this social media channel, which is rapidly emerging as a key outlet to communicate with customers.

SMEs can sometimes feel daunted by the prospect of complex and costly digital marketing campaigns, but in reality it’s very achievable if they take it step by step. Developments such as this provide a quick and easy way for video content to be uploaded and shared with target audiences – a key process within many digital campaigns. Only time will tell if

this latest addition will really take off but I believe it provides yet another way for businesses to directly interact with customers to keep them engaged and increase brand loyalty.

Ryan Higginson, vice-president digital channel and supplies Europe, Pitney Bowes

To be or not to be digital marketing

With reference to Forrester calling for ‘digital marketing’ to become simply ‘marketing’, most aspects of people’s lives now involve digital and the use of several devices and therefore marketing has to change.

Our research found that the simultaneous use of internet and TV by consumers is an everyday reality, with nearly two-thirds of respondents using the internet frequently while watching TV. Marketers need to address these behaviour changes in order to target their customers effectively. Digital should not exist in a silo; it needs to be integrated into the entire campaign if brands are going to survive the changes digital is bringing to business.

Steve Brown, managing director, Adconion Media Group

Stand out from the crowd

The finding that pay has remained static in your Salary Survey is something we have experienced. We believe it is being driven by the fact that so many skilled marketing professionals are looking for jobs and employers are being more specific about the skills and experience they want.

The competition for jobs is tough and marketing professionals need to do all they can to stand out. Increasingly, employers are looking for commercially aware marketers who can show how they have delivered return on investment in previous roles. But qualifications are still a differentiator for employers, particularly for those working in the social media sector where a digital marketing qualification is highly valuable.

Helen Moss, senior manager, Hays Marketing

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