Archive for the ‘Digital Smarties’ Category
I was recently asked to write an article for The Moodie Report E-Zine on the eve of the TFWA Asia Pacific Conference held in Singapore where I was honored to give a presentation to Duty Free brands and companies on emerging trends in digital, mobile and social.
Mobile is the first screen
Mobile technology and mobile user behaviour are at the centre of the current digital ecosystem, encompassing search, web and social activities. Over 844 million smart phone users live in Asia – a penetration of 22% and rising, according to market research company eMarketer and the US Census Bureau.
Asian smart phone users are also highly social, with 61% of their total usage spent on social media sites; the WeChat instant messenger application developed by Tencent in China, for example, boasts 200 million users. And with 60% of all Asian social networkers using social media to discuss their purchasing decisions, retailers need to adapt their customer engagement strategies to take advantage of this trend. The Chinese Connected consumer was a hot topic at TFWA in Singapore travel retailers have to design campaigns that put mobile at the heart of the activation.
The rise of the mobile wallet
Connected consumers are streamlining their journeys. They will buy from merchants which integrate convenience into the user experience and give their customers more control over payment options. A Nielsen study in March 2012 found that 43% of Asian smart phone consumers are prepared to use their phones to make purchases, and forward-thinking operators are now integrating purchasing applications like Treatdrop to connect mobile wallets to airport concession POS systems.
Another emerging travel-related platform is iVenture Card International, which enables consumers to purchase tickets to tourist attractions on their mobile devices with mobile wallets. It also integrates loyalty programmes, delivering benefits in both value and ease of purchase. “Mobile technology is already providing the conduit for customers to discover places of interest, but mobile payment provides consumers the ability to further act on this interest by providing the platform to incentivise their immediate desires,” explains iVenture Card Managing Director Ryan Rieveley.
The goldmine of social data
With billions of conversations across social networks – as well as photo shares, video views, check-ins, tweets and texts – travel marketers have access to enormous volumes of mineable data. Travel retailers, airports and brands can now become active listeners to determine the effectiveness of their traditional advertising, monitor sentiment, identify segmentation opportunities and deliver offers. “We’re listening to online conversations about our competitors and leveraging stated intent to tell us who to talk to, where they are in the buying cycle and what their pain points are,” explains Educational Tours Abroad Managing Director Yekta Gokyildirim. “From this data we focus on developing products and solutions that are laser targeted to the right customer at the right time.”
The challenge now facing travel retail is to leverage analytical data, mobile payment gateways and observed online social behaviour to offer convenience, optimise marketing and foster innovation. The E-Perfect Sessions at TFWA delivered some brilliant thought leadership on what the future of travel retail looks like but for this market, it is the first foray. What do you think is making creating a ripple?
In April I had the privilege of meeting an amazing woman. Her name is Joanna Maxwell and she is a reformed lawyer cum career coach. Whilst she helps executives elegantly leave the rat race and find their passion, she also does some other wonderful work in the community. One that I had the pleasure of being exposed to is a local government funded project called the Migrant Micro-Business course. At a She Business function Joanna asked me to be a guest speaker at her course and teach her lovely class of local women in Canterbury, a part of Sydney known as the center of cultural diversity, a thing or two about Twitter for Business.
Joanna prepared me, informing me that there would be at least 7 different nationalities in my classroom and that English was likely to be a second language for everyone except the Kiwi mother of four who was likely to be breast feeding whilst I was presenting.
I’ve given a lot of presentations lately. I knew it would not be the same audience I entertained and educated recently in Singapore at my keynote on innovation and the digital opportunity at TFWA Asia Pacific.
This experience for me was very special. I prepared slides I thought would bear significance whilst being culturally appropriate. I made myself a pinky promise not to swear. I internally wrestled as to whether I should reveal to this very religious and conservative group that my Twitter handle was @DigitalGodess fearing immediate offense to my taking deity and owning a piece of it. I was asked to present after the group had lunch which is never the optimal time of the day as a speaker as full tummies in a warm room settle into a quiet disconnect.
I was greeted by a lovely woman who in a humble city owned “Cottage” vigilantly offered me tea, coffee or biscuits. I just wanted water. My first subway ride to Lakemba had been daunting for a girl who never took public transport moreover sojourned into a neighborhood where I was the only person I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes. I was in a part of Sydney where English was not the spoken language. My Arabic was conversational at best.
My “Ladies of Lakemba” warmed to me after Joanna gave me a complementary introduction. When she handed to room over to me, I decided I would give these fourteen women everything I had and make it my personal mission to impart on them every way I knew that they could use social media to help their small businesses. Whether it be it making baby clothes or gifts for ethnic weddings and christenings these fourteen fabulous women would have a significant competitive advantage over the woman in the craft stall next to them at the local markets. When I looked intensely into each woman’s face and saw my own migrant self new and foreign in Australia wanting to own something of my own and create something I could be proud of. To the Lebanese, Malaysian, and Hindu in the room I honored their beauty and returned it with everything I had. I spent 45 minutes rifting and giving them real life case studies about Twitter and how to use the platform to find relevant audiences, build a community, and create a value relationship for which commerce would be a benefit. Whilst it was the Cottage in Canterbury, for me it was Carnegie Hall.
When I finished (and we ran overtime which I am told these women never allow!) I was graciously thanked and was humbled by these women. Their round of applause and hugs reminded me of the importance of returning to our roots and helping others by sharing knowledge. I gave each one of these woman my phone number, email address and access to my network to facilitate their personal goals and finished the day indebted to Joanna Maxwell for the opportunity to share in an afternoon basking in grace that is only created by unconditional giving.
What are your thoughts on mentoring? Is it a waste of time or an honor?
Life isn’t fair. Trayvon Martin, aged 17, lost his life in Florida, gunned down by a vigilante neighborhood watch clown, George Zimmerman who defied advice from the police to leave the kid alone. Two parents are left hurting with a hole in their heart that will never heal. School kids are hurting, facing racial prejudices that are being blamed on athletic cotton wear clothing choices by Geraldo Rivera in national television… WTF!!
Justice is sometimes so damn blind, it can’t differentiate between darkness and light.
Trayvon was a kid that was fearing for his own safety when he saw his assailant and believed he was being followed. He thought he had found himself in danger and indeed he was. His death causes my heart to break as it was so tragically unnecessary. The blame of fear being placed on his choice of outerwear disturbs me even more as America gets crazier the longer I stay away.
I remember when I first moved to Australia. I came in contact with these two very nice but very ignorant doctors (husband and wife). Over a civilized meal they prodded me about my status as a gun owner because I had just moved to Australia from Los Angeles. I was bamboozled at their stupid question and remember being gravely offended. Thinking back to 1997, those were very different times even after Rodney King and the O-Jay Simpson debacle and now, Americans take their right to bear arms very personally. Just because they have the right doesn’t not mean that they have to exercise it.
What needs to happen now is justice. George Zimmerman needs to be responsible for his actions and the court system needs to acknowledge that he defied police advice, and shot an un-armed kid and ended his life. His actions were not ok.
I urge you to sign the petition for Justice for Trayvon Martin at Change.org. Show your support to the family by putting your hoodie up, and share it with me and those who in support of the family of Trayvon Martin. Tweet #hoodiesup.