Next up is a talk close to my heart as I actually worked a little on this project with both brand and agency in a former life. We’re listening to Shannon Alba, Digital Marketing Manager at Stockland and Dhanu Sant, Creative Director at Isobar about the digital transformation of giant brand Stockland with a focus on its retail branch.
The focus and aim was a customer-centric future-proofed view for Stockland retail centres. This involved a cohesive process between agency and client to develop a cohesive strategy that delivers against business objectives. It led to the crucial understanding that technology is not a solution in its own right.
Stockland isn’t a retailer, they’re a shopping centre landlord. The goal is always to drive traffic into their centres. Digital channels need to create footfall and increase dwell time while promoting cross-shopping. This led to the customer-centric strategy: Making people feel special by celebrating them, the retailers and the community. Stockland centres are a large part of the community, they’re not just shopping centres. The community feel at the local shopping centre is central to a successful strategy.
Stockland went to market looking for a partner to help them build their website. It was only as the conversations around what the goals of the website were, that the words ‘digital ecosystem’ started to emerge. Stockland realised that in order to truly future-proof their position, they needed to look at their strategy holistically – going beyond platform.
The complete customer focused ideal strategy includes a host of personalisation-focused features, enabling the average shopper to experience a completely unique but wholly connected experience. This includes personalised rewards, indoor maps, social sharing, click and collect, smart shelves, eCRM and much more. From there they focused on the foundations, which is of course the website as the first consumer touchpoint.
Where to start with this? This is the process Isobar followed:
- In-depth discovery
- Experience design (which goes a step further than UX, understanding and developing personas)
- Digital Roadmap & Future Vision
- Test & Launch
This was a five month, agile process with complete collaboration across both agency and client. Although not exactly ‘easy’, this cohesive approach made the project a lot more accessible to all.
Technology is not the focus. Improving customer experience is. An example of this is the use of apps with regards to entering Stockland competitions. The centres run a lot of ‘spend & win’ style apps. Providing an easy-to-use app with a focus on these competitions allows customers to quickly and easily engage with these competitions on the move. It’s not exactly exciting or novel technology but it provides a solution to the existing problem.
Overall the project has transformed the way Stockland understands:
- who their customers are
- where they are from
- what their needs are
- how they are consuming the brand
These personas are likely to change and grow, but Stockland will be able to go through this process with them.
For the first time, it is the customers that are dictating the strategy.