Solomo presents unprecedented opportunity for service-led marketing, says marketing strategist

Macquarie University's marketing and data analytics leader, Dr Neil Fraser, discusses the intersection of social, mobile and location capabilities and the new-found opportunities for marketers in big data

The rise of social, mobile and location technology presents an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to engage in targeted and service-led marketing.

That’s the view of director of strategic planning and information at Macquarie University, Dr Neil Fraser, who caught up with CMO recently to talk about how big data is opening up greater opportunities for competitive advantage, and how mobility and hyperlocal targeting are becoming key to customer engagement.

Dr Fraser is in charge of Macquarie University’s data needs and analysis, a role which includes mapping the institution’s long-term strategies as well as optimising initiatives. He also champions the university’s growing Master of Data Analytics and Bachelor of Business Analytics programs.

Prior to joining Macquarie University, he spent 15 years managing large corporate data warehouses with a focus on targeted marketing, mainly in the mobile space.

As part of his research programs, Dr Fraser has focused on geo-sentiment and socio-sentiment research and the intersection of social, locality and mobility, or ‘solomo’. He claimed ‘solomo’ represents the next evolution of targeted marketing, allowing marketers to become even more localised and contextually relevant to their customers.

“There was a moment when it all changed, and that was when you could see everything that everyone was doing on their smartphones,” he told CMO.

“We are moving from dropping something in the mailbox or via email, to being relevant to where you are in that place at that point in time. If you think about hyperlocality as the primary application, it changes the way we target consumers by focusing on giving them the services they need.

“It’s about becoming a concierge service.”

To do this, marketers need to be able to tap into customer insights through big data. One such data-driven capability is natural language processing, or the ability to turn sentiments expressed by consumers through social and digital channels into rich and actionable intelligence.

“Natural language processing has transformed the Internet space and become very advanced,” Dr Fraser claimed.

“The use of this [capability] is now common and so subliminal many people don’t realise it. For example, if you type in your Gmail that you just bought a dog, within hours you’ll be served ads relating to dog food, vets in your area, all related to the word ‘dog’.

“It’s becoming very important in the competitive landscape to understand where to place ads, but also the emerging trends coming out about people’s feelings about what’s happening.”

According to Dr Fraser, ‘solomo’ has also become possible thanks to the enormous computing power now delivered via the cloud, which in turn has enabled better and cheaper data processing. In addition, this technology might has paved the way for entrepreneurs to turn data and information into products, making big data on customer behaviours and market trends even more accessible to marketers, he said.

Another ingredient helping marketers embrace ‘solomo’ is proximity technology such as iBeacon and NFC (near field communications). These give retailers and organisations the tools to address customers in a specific location and at a specific time through their mobile device.

Related: iBeacons are going mainstream, finds new report
How beacons and nearables are giving marketers new customer know-how
What you need to know about location-based mobile marketing

“Retailers have already figured out they don’t just want to know you’re in-store, but which aisle you are in,” Dr Fraser said. “That raises huge new privacy questions. But it’s an area that’s developing fast and it’s interesting to watch the number of retailers seeing this as really targeted marketing now.”

Coupled with the growing market for transacting data, marketers have previously unheard of opportunities to target their advertising and communication with customers and even predict retail trends, he said.

For example, linking snowfall patterns with retail is now possible thanks to the changes in the way organisations collaborate and share data, he said.

“Imagine the possibilities – we’re not yet linking health data with shopping data, but retailers do link loyalty data often into supply chain dynamics to work out how much of something to make, so there’s more stock for a certain day of the year, or to minimise overstocking,” Dr Fraser continued.

“The difference with this new space is that intersection of social, location and mobile, or ‘solomo’,” he said.

“People want to have more intelligent delivery. We are time poor, and people are so distracted and overwhelmed with information, that to get it right requires lots of skills and capability. Smartphones have made it easier to find out where you are, what you’re doing and what you are looking for.”

But while the communication channels may have transformed, Dr Fraser claimed ‘solomo’ shouldn’t overshadow the fact that marketers still need to serve customers with relevant content first and foremost.

“It’s the packaging into the channel and the channel that is changing,” he said. “The offer just has to be relevant to that place and point in time. You can see people getting it wrong – there’s too much information coming through email as it is.”

The challenge to this of course, is privacy. While Dr Fraser believed Australia has done a good job of cleaning up its data act through the Privacy Principles, he claimed the ethics issues around using detailed consumer information are only just emerging.

“If we want to have these kinds of services, people will need to be more aware of what you’re doing and when you are doing it,” he said. “If they don’t want it, there should be an option to opt-out. It’s self-service and should be your choice.”

The flip side is that by providing useful and accurate information to consumers, brands could well gain stronger customer loyalty, Dr Fraser said.

“I might opt in for my information to be shared if someone can provide a healthy diet and my doctor could look at that data and work out if it’s working for me or not,” he said. “That’s not so much about marketing, it’s about human behaviour.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

yo nice article

Bob

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Thanks for sharing with us. I just loved your way of presentation. I enjoyed reading this .Thanks for sharing and keep writing. It is goo...

Nisha

Cancer Council: Finding the physical-virtual engagement balance post-COVID

Read more

yes AI should be a course so many People Use AI https://g-techsolutions.com...

M Abdullah Khan

Is AI on course to take over human creativity? - Modern creative - CMO Australia

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the top retail technology.

Pooja Gupta

Donut King takes in-store marketing to the next digital level

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in