Mobile World Congress 2015: Mobile Retail: Delivering Contextual Experiences to Drive Loyalty and Spend - Dan Hodges

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Zaki Fasihuddin, McDonald's, Global Head, Business Development, Digital and Debbie Kiederer, Founder, ChalkDust Consulting exchange views on mobile retail in a lively panel discussion on March 3 at Mobile World Congress, 2015.

Mobile World Congress was held last week in Barcelona with a record 93,000 people attending.

There were many keynote speakers including Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook; Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault-Nissan Alliance; Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia and many more.

The "Mobile Retail: Delivering Contextual Experiences to Drive Loyalty and Spend" panel was among the most memorable discussions that I attended.

Zaki Fasihuddin, McDonald's, Global Head, Business Development, Digital; Debbie Kiederer, Founder, ChalkDust Consulting; Michele Janes, Vice President, Visa; Hill Ferguson, PayPal, Chief Product Officer and Dan Soffer, Vice President of VeriFone Israel were on the panel.

Hill Ferguson, PayPal, Chief Product Officer said that PayPal's mobile payment volume has grown from 1% of total in 2010 to 20% of total volume in 2014. PayPal announced at the conference that it was acquiring Paydiant, a software developer, which has developed mobile wallets for Subway and Teeter Harris, among other retailers.

Michele Janes, Vice President, Visa said "the last 6 months have been watershed moments for mobile payment volume with partners such as Samsung and Apple." She pointed out that "in emerging markets for the un-banked, mobile is first in that people don't have banking relationships but they do have phones"

Zaki Fasihuddin, McDonald's, Global Head, Business Development, speaking about McDonald's process for payments roll-out said that McDonald's "tends to follow multiple adoption and penetration models. We have certain markets that we consider for innovation pilots to try new things. We are very fortunate to have these partners." Zaki is part of the leadership team at McDonald's in charge of innovation and transformation.

Debbie Kiederer, Founder, ChalkDust Consulting, pointed out "if you want your consumers to be loyal customers, one of the most important factors is the consistent messaging you send in today's Omni-channel world."

She outlined three pillars that engage the loyal customers:

"Represent the customer's needs - and there can be many. For example, a 60+ year old may never purchase on a mobile device, so find ways to drive them to the retail store via traditional means, but message your millennial customer via Instagram and Twitter.

Connect what matters most -- Connect the mom to a more traditional marketing method, i.e., catalogs, vs. a more digital approach, a push alert to her daughter.

Focus to eliminate what is not needed - don't over communicate - use your discretion in the cadence of sending emails or tweets. Be a meaningful storyteller that is revenant to your audience. And add more white space vs. text/clutter to your website and mobile apps.

#1 - Understand who your audience is - don't think because you really "know your brand," or you are in influencer that you know more than your consumer - speak to your sales people in the stores and your e-commerce customer service representatives. If your customers take the time to express their opinions to you, listen and adjust accordingly.

#2 - Conceptualize - Based upon your understanding of your audience, conceptualize the outcome -- think about your customers' needs, along with your brand sensibilities and point of view.

#3 - Create materials and messaging that speaks to your audience -- with responsive design today, you may send a video via Twitter to my millennials, where you would send an email to my older audience with a more contextual message."

In a time of rapid change by consumers, Kiederer points out that brands need to be "strong and consistent in your brand identity across all the channels that you serve in ways that engage the shopping style of your consumer - whether that be in store, direct mail, online or on mobile."

While the modes of buying have changed, the tried and true process of brand discovery and execution remain constant.

Dan Hodges is CEO and Founder, Consumers in Motion LLC. He can be reached at

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