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Citi exec: SoLoMo is not enough for mobile offers

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January 18, 2013

The Citibank iPad app

NEW YORK – A Citi executive at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2013 conference said that to deliver contextually-relevant mobile offers, marketers need to think consumer-first.

The executive spoke about how mobile offers are continually evolving during the “Using Big Data Analytics to Know Your Customer” session. Additionally, the session gave attendees an understanding of how marketers can combine mobile with data to serve targeted offers.

“We suggest that in the age of pervasiveness, SoLoMo is not a great idea – we have to look beyond that,” said Richard Char, managing director and global head of digital networks and retail at Citi, New York.

“Instead of social media, we need to be thinking about the customer as an individual customer – we have to have customer-first targeting,” he said. “Begin with the customer, not the offer.”

Mobile-specific
Compared to online targeting, the lack of cookies makes targeting on mobile screens a challenge.

Therefore, marketers need to look at what kinds of data they can dig up and use to target users more effectively.

It is important for marketers to have a full understanding of how consumers shop, including what they buy from their favorite merchants and retailers and how purchase history can be used to get an accurate gleam on who a consumer is.

Historically, banks and financial institutions have been good at using predictive analytics to detect fraud.

Personalization is everything when it comes to mobile offers.


Mr. Char at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2013 conference

Personalized data
Credit card data, merchant data and public data can be combined with analytics such as spending trends in order to push out relevant deals, which ultimately drives sales.

When marketers use this kind of data to serve relevant deals, cash rates from the offers can be up to three times higher than normal offers.

Email is often used by marketers to target specific users. However, there is an extra step involved with getting a consumer to opt-in. Additionally, open rates can be low.

Email offers can also be seen as irrelevant without contextual information and unconvenient redemption processes.

Typically, marketers take a product and try to find the right person for that product. However, mobile is all about personalization, meaning that marketers need to look at the consumer first and then find the right tailored offer for them.

For example, time and day of the week is crucial to more effectively target consumers.

Per Mr. Char, when marketers think about the consumer first, mobile offers become contextually-relevant.

When marketers combine big data analytics with mobile, it is a win-win situation and opens up real-world cookies for marketers.

Additionally, marketers need to let consumers control the type of offers and how they receive deals.

“We have to allow the customer as often as they can to be able to change their preferences, which we will always honor,” Mr. Char said.

“Whether it is what you can market to me or when you can market to me or what I’m interested in getting an offer for,” he said.

“It is not enough to send an offer on location – it has to be contextual and in order for it to be contextual.”

Final Take
Richard Char is managing director and global head of digital networks and retail at Citi, New York

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