Retailers Explore Mobile/Social Media Intersection at InComm Partner Alliance (Feb. 14, 2013)
Social media and mobile now are intertwined, according to panelists who participated in Tuesday’s panel on The Power of Social Media in Business at the InComm Partner Alliance in Miami. Led by Michael Fletcher; Giftango senior vice president; representatives from Old Navy, Fandango and Giftango focused on key themes that included the power of social amplification; the ability of mobile transacting to generate big data leading to better understanding and targeting of customers; and the goal of using both—social media and big data—to engage more deeply with customers.
Old Navy’s Samantha Willems, manager, brand marketing, said “engagement is the biggest thing” and noted that the clothing chain’s advertising uses “great celebrities,” who will be brought into its social media. She also noted that “social and mobile are intertwined at Old Navy,” mentioning that the mobile component of certain programs is designed first, like for Black Friday 2012, when the retailer anticipated significant mobile traffic.
Fandango’s Kevin Shepela, vice president, business operations and business development, referenced the huge uptick in volume coming to the online movie ticket purchasing site. Calling mobile an “important channel,” he said that 14 percent of last year’s volume came via mobile; during the last few weeks, the mobile volume has grown from 38 to 50 percent. He added that sharing information about movie-going with a close group of friends amplifies the movie-going experience.
Chris Stewart, Giftango’s senior digital strategist, said part of its digital strategy is helping merchants with social giving. “Social sharing amplifies the market for gift cards,” he explained. “And, big data takes bits and pieces of information and targets them in social gifting.”
There’s no single metric that all could cite as the ultimate measure of social media or mobile success. Despite the potential for big data analysis, Willems admitted that sometimes the best way to evaluate engagement is by reading customer comments. “The qualitative is still where there’s most excitement,” she said.