BrainTruest Query: Mobile “C.L.A.M.P.” – The Great Convergence

Discussion
Feb 17, 2012

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Incentive Targeting blog.

Fueled by the unprecedented power and portability of today’s smartphones, we are seeing a rapid evolution of a number of major disciplines, one that can be called "The Great Convergence."

I recently discussed this convergence and its implications with Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor, at the Alert Technologies booth on the floor of the NRF conference in New York.

The key disciplines involved in this convergence have a convenient acronym: C.L.A.M.P. (Coupons, Loyalty, Analytics, Mobile Marketing and Payments). Alone, each one is a critical pillar of business-consumer interaction. Integrated, they will fundamentally change the nature of how we shop, how we are marketed to and how we engage with retailers. The best of breed in each area is rapidly emerging:

Coupons (and other deals):
To support coupons and deals, the mobile wallet of the future will depend on:

  • Load-to-card deals — to enforce redemption limits, allow for personalization, enable true traceability, and eliminate paper clearing;
  • Seamless redemption, with no action needed by the consumer to get their discount other than buying the promoted item.

Loyalty programs
In the context of the mobile wallet, loyalty means communications will be:

  • Relevant to that consumer’s preferences and tastes;
  • Behaviorally targeted based on what the consumer actually buys and the way they have responded to marketing in the past.

Analytics
Retailers will need access to analytics that are:

  • Shopper-centric, so that instead of focusing only on dollars and cases, the consistent unit of measure is the impact on shopper behavior;
  • Closed-loop, so that each customer interaction can be traced all the way through to its true impact on the shopper’s long-term buying behavior.

Mobile Marketing
The best mobile marketing in the future will be:

  • Personalized (and not annoying!) to the recipient, based on every available piece of information about that individual’s preferences and identity;
  • Hyper-local and time-sensitive, so that the consumer sees relevant messages not just for where they are now, but for where they are likely to be.

Payment
The mobile payment of tomorrow will be:

  • Speedy and cashless, requiring only a tap, photo-snap, or click-to-confirm;
  • Secure, through the use of PINs, facial-recognition, or other authentication mechanisms to prevent a stolen cell-phone from becoming a bottomless ATM.

Now is the time for progressive retailers and brands to start experimenting with new tools and technologies, learning from small-scale tests and experiments, and building the expertise and understanding of the consumer that will serve as the foundation for larger projects down the road.

Discussion Questions: What do you think of the C.L.A.M.P. theory expressed in this article? What do you expect will be the biggest hurdles for retailers as these disciplines converge enabled by the further development of smartphone technology?

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10 Comments on "BrainTruest Query: Mobile “C.L.A.M.P.” – The Great Convergence"


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Mark Heckman
Guest
10 years 3 months ago
First, full disclosure…I know the author of this treatise and have great regard for his perspective, his efforts in technology and his overall knowledge of the emerging digital, mobile marketing space. Listen when he speaks! Secondly, I am a man of a certain age and experience, and I have lived through many acronym-based initiatives in supermarket retailing, such as ECR, ABC, DPP, and the ever-popular CRM. So while CLAMP has a few more letters than most, why not another acronym if it helps us to focus on the need for converging key assets to be successful in this new age of digital and mobile customer contact? Ben’s contention is valid that a comprehensive approach to this space is essential. While there are many out there that specialize in one or perhaps two of the elements of CLAMP, the first one to create a fluid access to and competence in all will likely end up very rich and justifiably so. The only aspect of Ben’s definition of CLAMP that I would quibble with is that it… Read more »
Ben Sprecher
Guest
Ben Sprecher
10 years 3 months ago

Leave it to the BrainTrust to improve on my thinking right out of the gate!

Mark is spot on with his point that “Content” (not just Coupons and offers) is the right way to think about the relevant material that will get the customer coming back for more. Although discounts are often the most potent form of content from the point of view of influencing immediate customer behavior, all forms of *relevant* content contribute to the customer’s positive perception of the medium, and help build the “let’s just check to see what’s there today” habit.

With Mark’s permission, I’ll be using the C to stand for Content in future discussions.

Phil Rubin
Guest
Phil Rubin
10 years 3 months ago

CLAMP is an interesting theory and important for more and more customers every day. I would underscore Mark’s comments about Content trumping Coupons and might even consider C to be more inclusive (e.g., Community). Coupons are generally wrong and via mobile tend to be fully dilutive in that customers use them via location-based delivery and take discounts on purchases they would be making anyway.

Look at Nordstrom’s earnings release and see the value of selling more goods at full price. Good work and good discussion topic.

Ronnie Perchik
Guest
Ronnie Perchik
10 years 3 months ago
Mobile is a hot topic for marketers — and rightfully so! Brands understand the strength of opportunity with this medium. But what I like most about this piece, is that it speaks to integration. As with any nontraditional marketing, we need to think about how other tactics can be incorporated into the campaign with one another for one solid and cohesive effort. In the case of CLAMP, it speaks to all of the benefits of mobile: localization, personalization, efficiency of purchase, analytics, etc. So I think the theory stands strong on its own. The key with mobile is to be thoughtful about messaging, frequency and the actual offer itself. It’s so easy to overstep the boundaries of privacy with consumers. Does it enrich the consumers life, and is it easy to redeem? Retailers, for instance, should be sure to target consumers in the store with far different messaging than those who aren’t. All in all, it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? If the CLAMP theory comes to fruition, it will be a step towards one of… Read more »
Bob Phibbs
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

Ben was right to call it Coupons. That is the danger and that is why I predict many smartphone consumers will start opting-out. A man’s phone is their castle. I invite you in on the idea that I can control when you talk to me. So the idea that somebody could, as I’m walking by, send me a little, “Hey, come in and get a $3 dollar widget or something,” I think that’s really spammy.

And I think couponing is about as creative as many brands are going to be. (Nordstrom and Ralph Lauren notwithstanding.)

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

“(…mobile marketing in the future will be) Personalized (and not annoying!) to the recipient, based on every available piece of information about that individual’s preferences and identity.”

This is a self-contradictory statement, since giving someone (your) “every available piece of information” is itself an annoying idea.

Martin Mehalchin
Guest
Martin Mehalchin
10 years 3 months ago

CLAMP is a great overarching vision of what the end state should look like. If you’re not careful though, it can mask the tremendous complexity involved in building all of this and doing it well. The analytics piece alone is still an area that may retailers don’t fully leverage without the inclusion of mobile tech and data. Integrating CLAMP technologies to legacy systems is a tremendous challenge and potential cost. Vendors will need to show clear ROI to move projects forward with retail clients. Retailers, on the other hand, should be aggressively looking for positive ROI projects that can move them toward realizing the CLAMP vision; failing to do so will, in the long-run, just cede more market share to online pure plays.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
10 years 3 months ago

The “M” in C.L.A.M.P. (“M” for Mobile Marketing) isn’t really “a critical pillar of business-consumer interaction,” but we’ll let that slide for now. It adds a cute element to the acronym. For that matter, the “C” (for Coupons) also is not a “rapid evolution” component of “how we engage with retailers.” We’re then left with L.A.P., Loyalty-Analytics-Payment, which makes a lot more sense. However, the speaking and commenting engagements would then dry up. Not to mention the degradation of the romance in new business pitches.

The “Great Convergence” idea is interesting, but definitely not “great.” There are many tributaries to the river of retail marketing, among the most recent of which is smartphones. But smartphones have not been shown to create “a rapid evolution of a number of major [retail] disciplines.” Rather, smartphones are trickles rather than streams in their convergence with traditional marketing. In time, smartphones might become significant marketing tools, but there is no “rapid” about it.

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
10 years 3 months ago
The only thing on the list that will ultimately pass muster is payment. Every thing else will ultimately be deemed invasive by the consumer and will be abandoned as spam. Laws will be passed requiring consumer “opt in” for all mobile/web services which will make these “silver bullets,” dirty slugs. Think about how much you hate SPAM on your computer! How many emails a day do you receive from marketers who have no idea who you are. Think about how many times you have pressed 3 to tell Rachel, from Card Services, you don’t want her to call any more! What is being proposed is invasive, crude and will fail. In addition, most smartphone usage costs by the minute or the Kb. Do you mean to tell me that YOU are going to steal my minutes or data so you can send me advertising? I don’t think so! And with regard to coupons and promotions, when is the retail world going to enter the 21st Century. If you want to have a sale and draw… Read more »
Kai Clarke
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

Technology adaption and personal privacy are clear issues here. Who wants a retailer to know everything about their “needs” the moment they wish to purchase something? Who also needs to be “tethered” to their smartphone in order to have a system which works to their advantage? Finally, the sheer number of people without these smartphones is still quite large. Yes, there are many folks who do have smartphones, but many people still do not and that is a large hurdle to just getting into the “plan.”

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