Frank & Oak exec: Leverage iBeacon for complete user profile

Frank  Oak

Frank Oak goes mobile

NEW YORK A Frank Oak executive at Mobile Marketers Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2014 conference spilled some initial learnings from a test this holiday season that leveraged Apples iBeacon in pop-up stores to get a 360-degree view of a shopper.

During the Database/CRM: Potential to Build Relationships on Mobile Lies Unexploited session, executives from Yankee Group, Frank Oak and Sumotext spoke about the how to build a long-lasting relationship with consumers. Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York, moderated the session.

Were testing geo-localized push, and iBeacon is still being rolled out, so I dont want to say that weve really done iBeacon full out in the way that Im sure Apple has envisioned for it, said Ethan Song, CEO/founder at Frank Oak, New York.

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But that said, yeah, we brought it into our store, and the way that weve used it [is that] its a way for us to recognize when one of our app users walks in a store, he said.

Its very hard to do, but once you do that, it means that without having to ask a person to log-in when they walk into a store, you already recognize that that person with that profile with these items that they bought over last year just walked into your store theoretically, youre in store and one of our sales representatives can have this data and better cater to that customer way ahead of time.

Building a user profile
Frank Oak’s iBeacon tests this holiday fed into a bigger mobile strategy that the company has carved out around apps. The brand’siPhone, iPad and Android app plays a strong role in how the company builds its CRM efforts.

The goal is to ultimately have one complete profile on the consumer to connect in-store, online and mobile shopping experiences.

The key is pushing these app users to shop cross-channel since app-only users are less likely to stick around, per Mr. Song.

The retailer uses its app to track which products consumers are browsing and Liking on social media.

When it comes to acquiring app users, the online retailer promotes its app into its overall, bigger marketing strategy.

For example, when consumers shop online or find Frank Oak through Facebook, the app is promoted as one way that consumers can shop.

Additionally, the online retailer runs app download campaigns though in-app campaigns and on Facebook.

These ads do convert, but they are not as powerful as the other promotions because the consumer has not bought or browsed a product yet.

In particular, gaming apps are a big push to target Frank Oaks male demographic. These ads do drive downloads, but the consumers downloading the app from an ad are not engaging with the app content.

The database panelists

Omnichannel push
According to Sheryl Kingstone, Toronto-based research director atYankee Group, the challenge for marketers is to integrate mobile into a cross-channel approach.

Essentially, marketers that only have a mobile database miss out on understanding how consumers are interacting across multiple channels.

Take mobile apps, for example.

Simply getting a consumer to download a mobile app is not enough.

Instead, marketers need to constantly be churning out new experiences and engagement through their apps to drive in-store and online traffic.

Ms. Kingstone said that last year focused on the perils of showrooming for marketers.

This year is about how marketers are embracing showrooming. The strategy in this all comes back to understanding the customer journey from discovery, browsing, commerce and ultimately loyalty.

Its about your customer profile, its about understanding customer preferences, its about building a complete profile, and mobile is a piece of that profile, Ms. Kingstone said.

If you keep [mobile] as a silo, youre only going to be down the road creating an absolute headache, she said.

Final Take
Ethan Song isCEO/founder at Frank Oak,New York

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