Engage Customers With Mobile Wallet Marketing

Forrester predicts that the future of mobile wallets will go far beyond mobile payments. In the West, this vision is still a work in progress. However, Chinese digital juggernauts Alipay and WeChat have morphed their mobile wallets into rich customer engagement platforms. My latest report, “Engage Customers With Mobile Wallet Marketing,” tells what global players can learn from Asia’s digital leaders.

Alipay and WeChat show marketers the future of mobile wallets. While mainstream Western mobile wallets primarily focus on payments, pioneer mobile wallets in China have taken aggressive steps and become powerful customer engagement tools with innovative features — such as WeChat’s social gifting and Alipay’s augmented reality (AR) coupons and red packets. Their mobile wallet innovations span the customer life cycle (see figure).

The mobile wallet of the future is closer than you think. Market-entry obstacles like different business cultures, consumer behaviors, and regulations make it unlikely that Alipay and WeChat will operate directly in other markets beyond targeting Chinese travelers. However, the successful marketing use cases developed on Alipay and WeChat Wallet will inspire third-party players like Apple and PayPal to morph their mobile wallets into more powerful customer engagement platforms. In the next few years, we expect to see that:

  • Emerging mobile wallets will develop features like Alipay and WeChat. We expect mobile wallet innovations to happen more quickly in emerging markets with less legacy and competition. Paytm in India is a good example.
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Case Study: Increasing Customers’ Loyalty With Social CRM

It’s increasingly challenging for marketers to earn loyalty as empowered consumers become entitled customers with more options than ever before. My latest report, Case Study: Max Factor China Rejuvenates Customers’ Loyalty With Social CRM, tells marketers how to leverage social CRM to define an effective loyalty strategy that spans the entire customer life cycle, across channels.

The US cosmetics brand Max Factor has been growing its business steadily since it entered the Chinese market in 2009. However, Max Factor has faced growing challenges in recent years:

  • An increase in competition from incumbent and new competitors.
  • A decline in new members and average member value.
  • An incomplete understanding of customers’ purchasing and engagement behaviors.
  • A confusing loyalty program unfit for the digital age.
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How Can You Define The Right Social Approach And Tactics In Asia Pacific?

Marketers in Asia Pacific are increasingly investing in social marketing — and they expect great returns on their investments. Our latest report tells how to Understand Social Consumers To Achieve Marketing Success In Asia Pacific and uses Forrester’s Social Technographics® model to better define the right social approach and tactics in the region in three steps:

  • First, study whether your audience uses social media to interact with brands. Based on social savvy, we categorize audiences into four groups: Social Stars, Social Savvies, Social Snackers, and Social Skippers.

Highlights: Metro Indian (Social Stars) and metro Chinese consumers (just three points shy of being Social Stars) are the most social-savvy and demand social interactions with brands.

  • Second, find the phase of the customer life cycle in which your audience uses social media. To succeed, focus your social strategies on the life cycle stages where your customers are most likely to use social tools: when discovering, exploring, buying, using, asking, or engaging.

Highlights: China and India are also the two markets where social commerce may have the best chance; each has an extremely high social buy score.

  • Third, see which social behaviors and sites your audience prefers. The Social Technographics Intensity Matrix reveals the social behaviors your customers engage in and the types of sites where they engage in those behaviors to decide your social tactics.
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Call For Marketers In China – Join Forrester’s 2016 Global Mobile Executive Survey

Forrester’s 2016 Global Mobile Executive Survey is open, and we are calling for marketers in China. If you’re a marketer who is involved in mobile consumer initiative in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

My colleagues Julie AskThomas Husson and Jeniffer Wise are collecting responses from marketers in the US and Europe. If you want to understand the role that mobile is playing in various organizations in different regions, what their objectives are, how they measure the success of their mobile initiatives, and a lot more, you just have to share with us your own perspective and we will aggregate the answers.

For your efforts, we will share a free copy of the survey results.

Click HERE to start the questionnaire.

If you’re not familiar with your company’s mobile consumer approach, please forward this survey to the relevant colleagues who are in charge of defining or implementing your mobile consumer approach.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The survey will be live until November 29, 2016.

Responses will be kept strictly confidential and published only in an aggregated and anonymous manner.

Needless to say, we will filter responses and exclude irrelevant answers as well as answers from vendors or consulting organizations.

What’s New For 2016 Singles’ Day: Live Streaming, VR, And AR

November 11 is Singles’ Day in China — the biggest eCommerce event in the world. This year, Singles’ Day generated almost $18 billion in one day for Alibaba alone. For more results and analysis, see the Quick Take: AR, VR, And Global Brands Help Singles’ Day Surpass $18 Billion In Online Sales report that my colleague Lily Varon and I put together.

Singles’ Day is now a global phenomenon, blending shopping and entertainment both online and offline; it’s a far cry from its origin as a one-day, one-country, online-only shopping event. This year, newer trends like live streaming and virtual reality (VR) commerce show how eCommerce is evolving. Some of the highlights were:

  • Elevating online-to-offline promotions with augmented reality (AR). Alibaba created a Pokémon-Go-like augmented reality mobile game — “Catch The Tmall Cat” — to drive traffic to the offline stores of partner retailers like Starbucks and Suning and increase sales; players could “capture” discount codes to use in stores. 
  • Developing live streaming as an online shopping staple. This year, Alibaba held a shoppable, live-streamed fashion show during its kickoff gala and live-streamed more than 300 shows during its 24-day promotion period. JD.com and Suning also latched on to the trend: Both teamed up with live-video platform Huajiao to provide live streaming during Singles’ Day.
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Announcing Forrester’s Latest Wave Evaluation Of Digital Agencies In China

The Forrester Wave™: Digital Agencies In China — Strategy And Execution, Q4 2016 is now live. It’s the second time we have evaluated digital agencies’ capabilities in the Chinese market; we published our first report on the topic in Q1 2015.

To reach and engage with more than 700 million online consumers, B2C marketing professionals have put digital atop their agendas. However, marketers in China are far from ready to go digital-first on their own, and need agency support particularly in the following three areas:

  • Customer understanding and segmentation. Digital consumers’ behaviors are changing fast, and marketers must better understand, reach, and engage with them. Marketers expect to get more data services from agencies, especially industry-relevant customer insights, to help them better understand their customers.
  • Multichannel strategy. Marketers increasingly realize that siloed thinking fails to tap the full potential of digital business, and their efforts are often disconnected when supporting digital marketing initiatives across platforms and channels. As a result, marketers’ demand for multichannel solutions is increasing.
  • Creative strategy. Marketers need creative strategies to improve the return on their digital marketing investments. Content marketing, creating relevant ideas, defining customer segments, and customer journey mapping are critical to developing an effective creative strategy where the ultimate goal is to deliver business outcomes.
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Now Accepting Entries For The 2016 Digital Marketing Awards China

2016 is the second year that Forrester is co-sponsoring the Digital Marketing Awards China with the China chapter of the CMO Club. The goal: Inspire Chinese marketers by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.

We’re now accepting entries online. This is our chance to recognize the very best digital marketing programs in the country, and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. Our deadline for entries is November 18, 2016.

We are looking for digital marketing programs that clearly deliver against business goals. To determine the winners of the annual Forrester/China CMO Club Digital Marketing Awards China, we focus on how marketers use digital marketing at each stage of the customer life cycle. We create awards in three categories corresponding to different aspects of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR:

  • Reach: programs that generate brand visibility. Reach efforts drive discovery and awareness. These include word-of-mouth marketing, paid social advertising, and thought leadership.
  • Depth: programs that close sales. Depth programs pave the path for exploration and buying. These include ratings, reviews, and brand communities for information that helps to close existing prospects or leads.
  • Relationship: programs that build loyalty. Relationship tactics increase the loyalty and lifetime value of existing customers. These include a consistent presence on a WeChat public account and loyalty programs designed to create repeat business.
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How Are Hotels Embracing Mobile Moments?

Mobile is changing travelers’ behaviors and expectations worldwide, making mobile moments the next battleground for hospitality and travel industry. Following up on my earlier brief for airlines, my latest Brief: Hotels Differentiate With Mobile Moments shows hotel brands how to better embrace mobile moments.

Hotel customers’ usage of mobile is increasing rapidly all over the world. They use mobile devices for multiple hotel-related activities beyond booking, such as using their mobile as a room key, ordering services, and controlling smart hotel rooms. Hotels have the urgency to embrace mobile moments because they need to:

  • Keep up with the fast-changing behaviors and expectations of mobile travelers. The bar is higher: Services that hotels are starting to offer, like using mobile phones as room keys, are no longer that new to mobile-mind-shifted travelers.
  • Deal with increasing mobile competition from online travel agencies. Large online travel agencies and travel aggregators are consistently creating better mobile services and experiences for consumers and providing more options at the discover, explore, and buy stages than hotels do.
  • Manage a complex, fragmented ecosystem to deliver consistent mobile experiences. Travelers experience a hotel brand through multiple mobile touchpoints; these interactions also occur before, during, and after the stay. Aligning all of these touchpoints under such conditions is a challenge and often takes more time and effort.
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Traditional Banks Are Catching Up To Third-Party Payment Platforms In China

This is the second year that Forrester has evaluated the mobile banking services in China, and we’ve just published the results in our 2016 China Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark report. Compared with last year, we found that incumbent banks are close on the heels of top performer Alipay. Mobile banking teams can use these findings to benchmark their own mobile banking capabilities and identify areas for improvement.

To help mobile banking teams benchmark their mobile banking capabilities, identify critical mobile features, and plan for the future, we used our updated Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark methodology to evaluate the mobile banking services of six of the largest retail banks in China, including five traditional banks — Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank (CCB), China Merchants Bank (CMB), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — and one nontraditional bank: Alipay.

The Chinese mobile banking services we reviewed achieved an average score of 59 out of 100, an improvement over last year's 55. Leading traditional banks like CMB and ICBC have made many improvements over the past year and narrowed the gap with leader Alipay. Overall, we found that:

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How Are Airlines Embracing Mobile Moments?

Mobile is changing travelers’ behaviors and expectations worldwide, making mobile moments the next battleground for airlines. My Brief: Airlines Must Embrace Mobile Moments To Differentiate tells B2C marketing professionals managing airline brands how to better address airline travelers in their most relevant mobile moments.

Nobody is more mobile than an airline traveler — from buying a ticket to managing the in-transit and on-board experience to sharing that experience, mobile is an active touchpoint throughout the entire customer life cycle. Have airlines mastered all of these mobile moments? The answer is often “No” — there are still mobile moments that key airlines seldom cover (see figure).

Specifically:

  • Most airlines focus on mastering mobile moments at the buy and use stages. Smart airlines strive to provide convenient, time-saving measures that are better than those of online travel agencies (OTAs) and other airlines, such as “upgrade at the boarding gate” feature in its mobile app.
  • Some airlines serve mobile customers well at the discover and ask stages. Smart airlines help prospects and customers discover promotions beyond air tickets and travel packages, such as cross-border shopping, through multiple mobile channels.
  • Few airlines master mobile moments at the explore and engage stages. Compared with OTAs, airlines put forth far less effort creating mobile moments at the explore stage, whereas product comparisons and customer reviews are common features for OTAs.
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