Isobar & eBay reveal the “secret sauce” to making digital selling successful
In a session at dmexco, the leading digital marketing exposition and conference in the German city of Cologne this week, Isobar’s Global CEO, Jean Lin, and Kris Beyens, VP Operations EMEA, eBay, revealed the inside track on engaging and transacting with Digital Natives today.
To a packed international audience, the pair took to the Debate Hall to highlight how it is both through the smart combination of data-informed marketing strategy, creativity and the right technology partners that will give companies the competitive edge in the experience economy.
They laid out the complexity of the current landscape: the pace of change of media consumption and commerce is being warped by technology at a blistering pace, with no sign of slowing down.
Jean commented, “There are 731 million Chinese internet users, 724 million Chinese mobile users and about 70% of Chinese consumers shop on mobile. As a result, the worlds of advertising and commerce are colliding rapidly and driving up consumer expectations.”
Jean then shared the four factors that lead to success: understanding the evolution of technology and how it empowers omni-channel experience, integrating online with offline, contextualising data and making it the enabler of these experiences and finally applying a fresh perspective on creativity, as the bigger the technology challenge, the more creative you have to be.
Jean gave KFC’s journey with Isobar in China as an example of how brands are changing their approach to meet Gen Z + Gen Y consumer expectations. The agency helped the brand to partner with Baidu, WeChat and Alibaba payment services, using a creative use of digital and data to drive instant transactions and making it possible to stretch promotions. From streaming music by scanning codes available on their food tray, to pre-ordering meals and playing their favourite games: all while enjoying their chicken.
Kris explained, “We need to accept that Digital natives are real. They shop different. They think different. They think in experiences.” and Jean elaborated, “We all know we need to be customer centric, and demand lead. The key is in understanding data and using it to power creativity”
Recently, eBay powered searching and shopping with images on mobile devices, launching Image Search and Find It On eBay, a new experience for shoppers to use pictures instead of words to search eBay’s catalogue of 1.1 billion items. Enabled by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these innovative ways to shop will allow people to quickly find the things they love, making the entire internet shoppable on their mobile device.
Kris continued, “The convergence of advertising and shopping is starting to happen. People are asking for products to be brought to them. It’s where Brand Commerce is going to go.”
Isobar’s latest example of closing this gap is V-Showroom, an application for GM that merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations in real-time, by using an overlay of augmented content that interacts with the physical space or reality it is in.
The fundamental shift to designing customer experiences has had a knock-on effect for all agencies, brands and businesses, not just within the luxury sector. Both Kris and Jean called to attention the importance of collaboration now the ever-changing digital world has become so complex, Kris explained, “For brands, it is incredibly important to choose the right partners. I present eBay as a technology partner rather than a competitor, because we are about closing the gap between consumers and brand experiences”
Jean called out one example of partnering with clients and ultilising new platforms is the blue-infinity Linked by Isobar work, the “Connected Frame” a retail innovation that integrated with Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It was created with long standing client and luxury Swiss watchmaker, Hublot, and featured an augmented reality display case to showcase the latest range and enable the customer to “try on” the latest watch.
The pair wrapped up the session by sharing immediate next steps for brands - Kris explained, “Find who your customer is and be paranoid about finding everything about then. Pick the right partners to help you. In this complicated world, you won’t be able to solve brand marketing on your own.”
Jean called for a step-change in our approach; “In the process of thinking of our marketing & advertising strategy, include The Last Mile in your planning. Don’t consider it last. Find the right partner to imagine it with you.”