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Mobile Retailing and Business Transformation

Mobile Retailing, the Newest Business Transformation Catalyst

When mobile first broke out on the retail scene, it was promptly designated as a tool for marketing executives to leverage as a means of targeting broad audiences – perhaps with a banner ad, or a mobile-optimized version of a site. Its transformation into a commerce-first catalyst, however, has significantly affected the role of the modern-day CMO. Marketing executives around the globe are urged to push mobile-first ideas and advertising initiatives through their respective organizations, meaning that chief marketing officers must have already adopted a digital mindset in order to receive them.

While the execution of traditional marketing tactics – such as print and display ads – is still very much embedded within CMOs’ repertoires, these executives’ positions have rapidly changed to make way for a slew of new strategies that make their job goals easier to accomplish in some ways, and more challenging in others.

Wrapping up real-time data: Marketing to specific audience segments has never been simpler, thanks to the advent of mobile. Instead of figuratively throwing advertising initiatives at several niche markets and hoping that they stick, CMOs can make informed decisions based on real-time data collected by analytics from consumers’ social media usage, as well as mobile apps and sites. These types of decisions can significantly affect the bottom line for many companies, as executives can roll out ads that have a much higher likelihood of resonating with their respective target audiences. Another bonus – individuals in top-level positions no longer have to wait weeks or months to have data compiled. With the use of analytics platforms and social media managers, verdicts can be reached imminently, a helpful strategy in times when quick response rates on mobile-first platforms are very much necessary.

Changing up hiring hierarchies: Ever since mobile cemented itself as a top communication medium, most businesses’ hiring needs have changed accordingly. Chief marketing officers are now tasked with hiring social media executives that will act as a bridge between the brand and its consumers. Experts in this field may help identify new target audiences, discover the trendiest new platforms and be on-call during major cultural events, such as the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, to respond to buzzworthy moments with brand-related content. Paving the way for mobile-centric departments under the umbrella of marketing is paramount for any CMO seeking to snag some portion of millennials’ – and younger consumers’ – minds and wallets.

In-house and cross-channel: The proliferation of mobile retailing has forced some CMOs to make tough calls when it comes to actually implementing smart devices in bricks-and-mortar locations. While having a slew of smartphones and tablets in companies’ headquarters is an inherent assumption, not every brand enables its in-store associates to carry mobile devices while out on the floor. Select retailers, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, have okayed this strategy – which has resulted in an uptick in sales, due to consumers being able to purchase out-of-stock inventory or different sizes right on the spot. Other chief marketing officers have been wary of this tactic, mostly for fear of causing immediate distraction among employees. Nevertheless, it is up to senior-level executives to decide if mobile’s capabilities are best-suited to being omnipresent in their brands’ storefronts as well.

Although retailers have been expanding their marketing efforts via many digital avenues, mobile certainly takes the cake as the biggest retail transformation catalyst. Opportunities for reaching existing and new customers via smartphones keep growing, thereby giving businesses the upper hand in distributing relevant content, and using their followers’ real-time data to plan ahead for the next challenge. Chief marketing officers may have more on their plate these days, but they know they can count on mobile to vary up their advertising palates.

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Phil Granof, CMO

Phil is an award winning marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and brand development. Prior to NewStore, Phil was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Black Duck Software, a global enterprise software company where he successfully repositioned the entire brand, built a modern marketing organization, and simultaneously redefined an industry. As Chief Marketing Officer of NewStore, Phil combines his analytical data-driven approach to marketing with creative vision to oversee Demand Generation, Product Marketing and Management, Brand Development and Corporate Communications.

Topics: Mobile Retailing