The CMO Show:
The CMO Show: Mobile marketing...

Mobile is where it’s at, right? Turns out that there is a whole world of mobile marketing beyond that which we currently know – and it’s just waiting to be discovered and embraced.

It’s a screen, screen, screen world. And this is only the beginning.

In this episode of The CMO Show, we delve deep into the world of mobile marketing best practice, digital strategy, and the screen-led existence. Kelly Slessor, founder and director of BanterMob Mobile Marketing, joins Mark and JV in the studio to share insights from her recent Westfield Study Tour, as well as expert advice on the world of screen-based technology and innovation.

The crucial point of mobile marketing actually occurs a mere eight seconds into interaction, says Slessor. “We will spend about eight seconds on a mobile so we’ve got less than the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to mobile,” she said.

A strong advocate for user experience-led design and functionality on mobile, Slessor also stressed the need for marketers to understand who they are talking to, before jumping into action.

“I’ve read so many reviews that said, ‘You know who I am, you know where I am, you know what I’m doing so serve me content and information based on that not on what you think you need to push in terms of a product.’”

Tune in to discover how mobile marketing is changing, what it means for the way we think (and shop), and how best to embrace a screen-led world.

Listen to the podcast below and subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud.



The CMO Show production team

Producer – Megan Wright

Audio Engineer – Jonny McNee

Design Manager – Daniel Marr

Graphic Designer – Chris Gresham-Britt

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Jeanne-Vida Douglas (JVD)
Mark Jones (MJ)
Kelly Slessor (KS)

JVD So welcome to the CMO Show.  I’m JV Douglas and I’m here with Mark Jones.

MJ    Hello, and I’m here with JV Douglas!

JVD [Laughs]  Mark, how many times a day do you check your phone?

MJ    Never counted, but I reckon if I was to guess, 100, 150.

JVD Do you check it while you’re walking?

MJ    Yes. And I will say this if I’m crossing a road I will never look at my phone.

JVD I almost got killed doing that once.

MJ    There you go.

JVD I actually stepped off the kerb, and I’d just got a call offering me a job that I’d always wanted…

JVD …and I almost stepped in front of a taxi and I – every time I go to cross a road and I’ve still got my phone and I’m looking at it, I think no, remember the taxi.  [Laughs]  Put it away.

MJ    I think there’s something in that for all of us.

JVD There’s some data from the CMO Council saying 65% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking and 15 minutes before going to bed.  I think I’m down to 15 seconds.

MJ    Yep and I reckon that’s probably a conservative estimate too.

JV And the reason we’re talking about that is because today we have Kelly Slessor on and she’s the founder and director of BanterMob Mobile Marketing Group and she’s one of the smartest women I’ve met.

MJ    She is very clever.

JVD Yeah.

MJ    And the cool thing about her story, apart from the fact that she did amazing things in the UK, is that she’s got a very good sense of style and – and – and the trends as it relates to mobiles.  So she can kind of see where it’s going.  

JVD And she’s in that – that really – that very fast moving changing space which is retail.  I mean think about, think about somewhere like Westfield, all right?  They have – it’s them as a brand, but then it’s all those stores and they all have their own marketing messages and they all have their own users, and they all have their own staff and you have to make it all synch together in some way.  It’s a huge challenge.

MJ    Yes.

JVD And that’s – they’re the challenges she solves.

MJ    Yes, and we obviously know that retail is – if it hasn’t already shifted to online yet it very will soon be almost, there’s basically no excuse not to be online and we know…

JVD Because people are online while they’re in store.  That’s the – which is something that we never even considered a couple of years ago.

MJ    Yeah, so it’s a pretty fascinating space.  Why don’t we go to Kelly and…

JVD Yeah.

MJ    …a chance to say.

JVD Let’s talk to her.

Today we’re joined by Kelly Slessor, she’s the founder and director of BanterMob.  She’s a digital strategist and mobile specialist and we’re going to have a little chat about some of the trends in mobile and how they’re impacting marketers.  Welcome to the show.

Kelly:   Thank you.

JV:    Mobile marketing, what even is that, how many devices are we talking to, how do you keep up with all of this, it just changes so fast?

Kelly:   It is, it is changing so quickly and when I think back to when I started in mobile we were talking about just making phone calls in a building free of charge and being able to do that…

JV:    So exciting.

Kelly:   And back then we didn’t have mobile internet so it was just about SMS and things like that.  But now we’re talking about Gen Z and five screens and how we interact with them and how we get branding messages across and how we connect with them and engage with them.  So it’s changing at an alarming rate and trying to keep up with it even for someone in the mobile industry is an interesting challenge let alone if you’re actually in marketing in general or digital in general.

JV:    So when you say five screens is that five screens – well I have a gen Z so I’m slightly worried here.

Kelly:   I’m extremely worried, I’m developing my own screen especially for mum, for my gen Z, so that we can communicate.  So five screens, so your tablet, your mobile phone, your gaming device, your computer, your – you know, all of those screens, so the TV screen, they will be interacting with all of these at the same time which is quite scary.

JV:    So mobile marketing is really kind of integrated channel marketing all in the one conversation.

Kelly:   It is, I suppose mobile marketing – I mean we all know that, you know, you only get on a bus and walk down the street to see how much mobile is overtaking our lives, you know, and 68% of us are now using mobiles to search for things and look online and things like that.  So we know the traction that’s happening in mobile and the momentum that’s happening in mobile.  I think the challenge is for brands and marketers is really how do you engage people when they’re on the move, when they’re looking at things in micro seconds, you know, and they have a really small attention span.

JV:    It’s like distraction marketing almost.

Kelly:   Absolutely, absolutely.

Mark:  What are the mistakes that brands are making over and over again because it’s easy to say okay be more human but look, you know, this whole space is littered with failures like it’s nobody’s business.

JV:    And it’s changing all the time, it’s like yeah what are those mistakes?

Kelly:   I don’t know about you but you jump onto a website on your mobile phone or you go onto a news channel, or whatever it might be, and all of a sudden there’s this banner flashing away at you or it takes over your screen.  For me that is huge failure because it’s not what we want and 80% of us when asked the question if we’re okay with those sorts of ads say no.  So I think we’re failing I think in that area.  I think we haven’t realised the potential of the technology yet.  You know if you think about Jennifer Wilson, who is a guru in the industry, gives a really cool example of you know if you go back to the days of radio and when radio moved to TV the first kind of TV shows where people stood still talking to a microphone.  And then when we went from print to web the first websites that we built back in the day were very much versions of a printed format just static and now they’re more interactive.  And mobile is very much a version of the web now and what we’ve done is we’ve shoved this great big screen into a little screen and we haven’t added the functionality or benefits that mobile can bring on the interactivity.

Mark:   And we’re still learning what the user experience really is.

Kelly:   Absolutely, absolutely.  So, you know, people go out and develop apps but they develop the same thing as is on their mobile website which is the same thing that’s on their website and then they ask why people aren’t downloading them or interacting with them or they’re not getting the conversion rates from them.

JV:    What I’d be fascinated by is who’s getting it right, what is it that you’re meant to do with an app?

Kelly:   If I charged people per day for them coming to me with an app idea I would make more money out of that than what I actually do because everyone has got an app idea in them, right.

You’ve got an app idea, both of you probably have an app idea in the background somewhere.

Mark:   Yeah, yes I do.

Kelly:   Quite a large organisation retailing company asked me a few weeks ago, you know, what should they do in the app space and I said don’t do anything unless you’ve got any value to add in that.  For me building an app in a very busy market places like Scentre Group, and I’m a consultant for Scentre Group.  So it’s like Scentre Group building a shopping mall out in the middle of nowhere, putting one shop in there and expecting people to go find it.

JV:    Which they would never do by the way.

Kelly: So my issue with building applications is what is the problem we’re trying to solve with them, you know, and what’s the added value for a user that makes them over and above going to their mobile website or going to the desktop version and actually want to download that app.  So some good examples of apps that are I suppose rocking it in the retail world would be catch of the day.

JV:    Right, yeah.

Kelly:   And their user interface, your ease of use in terms of being able to purchase on it is seconds, like literally seconds.  They personalise items for you so they’re moving into that personalisation space.  So last year I, on a personal project – and this is the eternal student in me – read forty thousand app reviews and I categorised them into positive sentiment, negative sentiment, what people love, what people hate.

Mark:   Was that so you could go to sleep at night?  

Kelly:  I think the app store is the biggest form of research, open research, that we have today.

Kelly:   Or customer data that we have today.

Mark:   And what did you discover?

Kelly:   I discovered two things, hours and hours and hours of looking at these results, analysing it, graphing it, putting it in spreadsheets, I discovered two things.  In the retail space in apps people want them to save you time or save you money and they’re the two things that they want.

Mark:   That’s it?

Kelly:   That was it, that was it. So if you’re not saving me time or saving me money don’t bother.

Mark:   I love the simplicity of that because I guess everybody is a consumer right but sometimes if you’re in the B to B marketing space we overcomplicate things.

Kelly:   Absolutely.

Mark:   We forget the consumer mindset.

Kelly:   So ASOS is another one, that’s another – a huge time saver.  They’ve made search and filter really intuitive and easy to use.  They started to look at using curations.  So when I talk about curation – we don’t shop anymore for a white shirt, or some people do but – you know, or a red top.  What we shop for is a date night outfit or a festival outfit or a – we shop in – in a curated way.  

We will spend about eight seconds on a mobile so we’ve got less than the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to mobile, so you’ve got eight seconds to actually pull someone in and get them deeper to the next page.

And time and context and location are – are three of the most important factors as well. The amount of times I read from reviews you know who I am, you know where I am, you know what I’m doing so serve me content and information based on that not on what you think you need to push in terms of a product.

JV:    Yeah.

Kelly:   And if you think about it, you know, Apple has – has changed the dynamic and changed the world in that and we know – they know what temperature it is in this room at the moment, you know, they know – you know, my devices know what the weather’s like outside, it knows what my – my next meeting is, it knows how long I’ve got in between those meetings and where I’m probably going to be.  It knows if I’m in an Uber or it knows if I’m driving a car.  So why not serve me content based on that?  So we need to take this…

Mark:   So context is becoming a really important thing right?

Kelly:   Yeah, absolutely, and really I suppose it’s even it’s moving away from big data and going small data.

Mark:   What’s the thing that you’re like this is so cool?

Kelly:   I started in British Telecom so I’ve always been – I’m kind of half marketing half geek…

JV:    We love that…

Kelly:   I did a degree in marketing and what I realised was I actually don’t care about the technology itself and I was really lucky and fortunate to get an opportunity to work on Sainsbury’s Store of the Future at a very early stage, and Sainsbury’s is a big supermarket in the UK.  And what I realised then was what my fascination with technology is how do we connect and engage with people on an emotional level in this very cold faceless impersonal space and that has always kind of been the driver and I suppose my passion about technology.  It’s actually not about the technology itself.

Mark:   So how do you make mobile more human.

Kelly:  Yeah exactly – how do we just really emotionally connect with people.

Mark:   You did a tour of the Westfield in the US, tell us a bit about that and maybe what you’ve learnt, what you brought back and thought, you know, this is the thing, I’ve discovered it.

Kelly:  Actually one of the biggest points that came out of it for me came from not someone in retail but a scenographer which is a visual merchandiser…

JV:    Thank you.

Kelly:   In – and that’s the French word for it, that’s my new word…

And one of the things she does is she builds visual merchandising for your Louis Vuittons, your Burberrys, you know, your big hotels but it’s not visual merchandising it’s works of art, what she does is works of art.

And someone said, you know, what’s your inspiration and she said well what I try and do is I try and look around me for inspiration, you know, I go out and I look at buildings, I look at people and I interact with them and that’s where I get my inspiration from and there was this amazing display she’d done which was paper flowers but what she’d done is she’d made them out of old maps of Paris so when you looked at it it looked absolutely amazing and then as you got in closer there was more of a connection with it.  One of the major points I took away, was mobile – at the moment we’re very much taking our inspiration from what’s in the mobile.  We’re looking at Pinterest, we’re looking at Snapchat, we’re looking at Instagram and we’re talking all our inspiration from here.  But what we’re proving with a 0.6% conversion rate which it is in Australia on mobile at the moment, it’s not working.  

Mark:   So we’re missing something from the bigger world.

Kelly:   I think there’s a journey of education in bringing the two together and I think what we’re beginning to see is retailers who are just in a physical world and haven’t necessarily developed a great online presence or a great mobile presence. 78% of people that search on a mobile will take an action so whether that be go into a retail space or buy a product or whatever it might be.  

And you know, beige doesn’t work anymore.

Mark:   What do you mean by that, beige?

Kelly:  So being mediocre in the retail space…

Mark:   Right. I’m missing a colour, I’ve gone beige is the new black, not anymore…

Kelly:   It’s not, not anymore… Black is the new black.

So being in that middle range we’re seeing those B grade malls, you know, traffic falling on those.  You know if you look at a hundred mobile sites, which I do quite often, you will see that they all look exactly the same.

It’s like someone’s just got this template…

Mark:   Copy paste.

Kelly:   …dropped it in and copied and pasted it and dropped some product into it and that isn’t going to cut it going forward.

JV:    People browse online for pleasure too and there’s a lovely intimacy sitting in a nice comfy chair searching for whatever it is you’re interested in, not worrying about what size people are going – or whether or not people are going to judge you because you like purple shoes or whatever it happens to be because you’re in the privacy of your own little shopping world, yeah.  And that is an incredibly…

Kelly:   You have a dark secret don’t you?

JV:    Purple shoes.  But that’s an – see I don’t actually like malls, I don’t like going into shopping centres.

Kelly:   Right.

JV:    I find it overwhelming, I find seeing so many things that I don’t actually want to find that weird little item right at the back that I do want, just an overwhelming experience.  

And I think what a lot of retailers are failing to realise still is that that there is a pleasurable experience and a very personal experience associated with searching online…

Kelly:   Serendipity, yeah…

And I think some retailers are working towards that and I think some retailers have a long way to go.

JV:    Well where to from here though because there’s a whole series of technologies lining up and it’s always been thus in the mobile space…

Kelly:   Yeah.

JV:    So we’ve got – you know, we’ve got augmented reality, we’ve got virtual reality. What should marketers actually be paying attention to in order to stay ahead of the curve on that next generation?

Kelly:   I ran an event a few weeks ago called Playtime for Great Minds which brought some of the top executives or top thinkers in Australia from Scentre Group, from HP and some others together to talk about what does the future of technology look like.  And we played with 3D printing, we played with augmented reality, we played with leap motion which is where you can use hand motions in an augmented world.  We played with various types of technology.

What was really interesting was when I asked the question of what’s the future look like, you know, the comments that came back was it’s augmented reality, it’s, you know, 3D printing.  When I asked the question what can technology help you with today and next week and in the future it was all about personalisation of services.  It’s always all about making my life simpler.  So in terms of what’s coming next from future technology augmented reality we haven’t worked out what problem it solves yet.  It’s great technology, you know, it looks great, it’s fun to play with.

We’re seeing new technologies so for me one of the most exciting ones is artificial intelligence.

JV:    Okay.

Kelly:   I don’t know if you’ve seen the Northface case study.  So IBM Watson did a case study with Northface last year and basically what it was is if you go to the website it asks you intelligent questions it gets the answers and then it structures the products based on those answers.

So there’s this ability for us to build in algorithms that know either what the weather is, you know, where you are, what your location is, where you’re thinking of going on holiday and then serve you content based on that and the interaction rate went up by something like 60% on that.  So I think for me that artificial intelligence is one of the really interesting ones but it’s got to be paired with human interaction.

JV:    So it’s really targeted at personalisation, is where you’re heading, yes.

Kelly:   Absolutely, absolutely.  The second piece is messaging and even though messaging has been around from day dot of mobile and that’s kind of the area that I started in we haven’t really seen the power of it.  We’re seeing, you know, the growth of Snapchat, we’re seeing the growth of all the messaging platforms and they’re growing astronomically.  

I just don’t think here or in the UK or in US we’ve totally worked out how to use that channel effectively.  But what I think in terms of how we will use it effectively it’s got to be a lot more conversational rather than flashy banner ads or popping up in a product feed.

Mark:   It is a fascinating world that you’re playing in and I really do appreciate your insights.

Kelly thank you for your time.

Kelly:   No problem.

JV:    Yeah it’s an amazing space, thank you.

Kelly:   Thank you, thanks for having me.

Mark:   Now before we let you go one of the things that we like springing on people is rapid fire 21 questions…

Kelly:   Wow.

Mark:   Let’s learn something about you, are you ready for it?

Kelly:   Okay go.

JV:    What are you grateful for?

Kelly:   My family.

Mark:   Do you like the rain?

Kelly:   Love it.

JV:    In the movie of your life who will play you?

Kelly:   Let’s say Halle Berry.

Mark:   Beach or mountain?

Kelly:   Beach.

JV:    What’s your greatest career fail?

Kelly:   I was running a mobile marketing agency in the GFC.

Mark:   Bad timing.

Kelly:   It was bad timing, really bad timing.

Mark:   Chocolate or strawberry?

Kelly:   Chocolate.

JV:    Best career advice?

Kelly:   If you’re not passionate about what you do don’t bother.

Mark:   Summer or winter?

Kelly:   Summer.

JV:    Who is your hero?

Kelly:   My dad.

Mark:   Scrunch or fold?

JV:    I love the tone you put on that one.

Kelly:   I’m going to say fold because I think it’s more polite but actually probably scrunch.

JV:    If you weren’t a marketer you’d be a…?

Kelly:   I would be a computer scientist.

Mark:   What did you have for breakfast?

Kelly:   I don’t think I did.

JV:    Well in that case…

Mark:   Ba-bow.

JV:    What would you have liked to have had for breakfast?

Kelly:   Poached eggs on toast.

Mark:   What was the last conversation you had with your parents?

Kelly:   With my mum a few months ago – god that sounds really awful…

Mark:   That’s fine, they can still be your heroes though.  

JV:    If you could change one thing about the marketing industry what would it be?

Kelly:   I would get more digital people and more technology people with – with emotional intelligence into the technology industry.

Mark:   Can you ride a bike?

Kelly:   Just, not very well and not up hill.

JV:    What’s your greatest frustration?

Kelly:   Bad mobile experiences.

Mark:   Dogs or cats?

Kelly:   Both.

JV:    Touch, taste, hearing or smell, which would you lose in order to save the others?

Kelly:   Taste.

Mark:   Favourite book?


Kelly:   Yeah.

JV:    And if you had to change your first name what would you change it to?

Kelly:   I write Mickey Mouse on forms a lot so maybe Mickey.

Mark:   Thank you very much Kelly.

JV:    Cheers.

Kelly:   No problem, thank you.

JVD:  Mark, when we get a guest that comes in and reaffirms stuff that we’re already seeing it’s so exciting and Kelly just did that with – in terms of apps.  Like why do it unless you can actually make a difference to someone’s life.

MJ    It makes us feel really smart doesn’t it?

JVD So many apps that I have that I’ve downloaded that I’ve gone why – why did you make me do this?  Why did you make me download this because it’s – it’s useless.

MJ    Yes.  I love this whole goldfish idea. So you’ve got eight seconds to get someone’s attention on the mobile before we forget or you move on.

JVD And that’s actually longer than in other channels.  Like you will switch away from a television in – in three seconds.

MJ    I was thinking about television, you know, you very really get a camera angle held for more than three seconds.

JVD When you’re writing a script for a sitcom you have to make people laugh every three to five seconds.

MJ    Yes.

JVD That’s insanely difficult!

MJ    So, that wraps it up for this week.  Thank you for joining us on the CMO Show.

JVD That was a really fascinating interview again, with one of the smartest women I’ve – I’ve spoken to in recent times, it’s so inspirational when we get people like this on the show.

MJ    Thank you for joining us on the CMO Show.

JVD Because we’ll have someone just as smart gain next week.

MJ    Yes, we will and we love the fact that you listen to the program.  Please do go to iTunes, we’d love to get a rating and head over to…

JVD And come and chat with us on Twitter

MJ    We would love to get your input, your feedback, your ideas and we hope that you continue to enjoy the program, until next week.

JVD Until then.

MJ Bye-bye.

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