The Electronic Retailing Association

MCMS 2018: Ina Bauer shares her key takeaways from the panels on Digital Business Transformation

(L-R) Panelists Katharina Schneider, (Mediashop) Vienna, Levin Vostell, (Influry) Berlin, and Kanaway Yusingco, (Uniquely Wired) London, discuss questions posed by Ina Bauer, (MediaShop) Vienna

Once again, I was invited to host a session at the MCMS Congress, this year on the subject of digital business transformation opportunities and challenges.

My international panel participants came from different countries and backgrounds and have vast business expertise in broadcast, e-commerce and marketing. The panelists were:

Mattias Bråhammar (Veespo) Milano, Simon Ingram (iocono), London, Katharina Schneider, (Mediashop) Vienna, Levin Vostell (Influry) Berlin, Kanaway Yusingco (Uniquely Wired) London

(L-R) Panelists Simon Ingram, (iocono) London, Mattias Bråhammar, (Veespo) Milano talking to host, Ina Bauer, (MediaShop), Vienna.

The Challenge

Today’s world is a hybrid one: analogue business models need to be migrated into digital ones. Media and retail industries are on the forefront of this development. The challenge is to handle the process, as driving and adapting to new technology is expensive and various players and standards demand several technical solutions and constant updating. With digital media on the rise, brands have the unique opportunity to take control of content creation and media ownership. In terms of strategy and storytelling, the ability to syndicate video as quickly as possible has become an important tool for broadcasters and brands to communicate and market to their target audience and to create new, advanced commercial content interaction and engagement.

The dynamic media landscape creates fast paced changes in consumer behavior with high expectations that need to be met. Viewing and shopping habits are centred on convenience, which highly affects the way brands need to position themselves.

These were only some of the topics discussed. While there were a lot of different and interesting aspects throughout the panel sessions, I would like to share my key takeaways.

Six Key Takeaways

Kanaway Yusingco (Uniquely Wired) London, discusses Storytelling with Katharina Schneider, (MediaShop) Vienna

# Storytelling

Develop a brand story that clarifies your message and connects with your market. By creating and communicating a powerful brand story, businesses can increase the perceived value of their product or service and earn the loyalty and engagement of their customers. Always starts from the story, define what you bring to the table that is different from the rest and then deliver your value. People exist in their own worlds with their own needs and concerns.  They want to solve their problems.  Even if you have a great product or service that helps, they won't buy it, unless they understand how it makes their life better. Storytelling is not inventing a story. In fact, the very reason why your business exists, why you have developed these specific products and services and why you do what you do and how you do it, the fire burning within, are stories themselves.

Simon Ingram suggests not to overthink, just keep trying things out and then analyse your success so you can follow the money.

# Take risks.

Successful entrepreneurship involves taking risks. Don't stop! If you don't try, you will never know and you might ask, “what if”. As long as you’ve weighed the consequences, considered the outcome and reasonably predicted the odds of success and failure, make a decision.

Don’t overthink it. Just make sure you analyse your success and also your failures. You have to be able to change your mind and follow the money. React and keep on reacting!

Mattias Bråhammar, (Veespo), Milan, highlighted the opportunity to look at diff target groups on diff platforms.

# Brand Trust and Image - Consumer Interaction

You need to create trust, so customers come back. People are aware of untrustworthy deals. In the end it is about conversion, but at the beginning it might be more about credibility and consumer engagement. By messaging across traditional media combined with online, you have a better chance of building engagement. You have to be able to react to your market position and change your message to react to your emotional followers, not if you are only using it for profiling purposes, but if this really serves your customer, then there is high potential to interact and build a relationship with them. People get involved if they really see added value and a fully-engaged customer represents above average revenue.

# Content is still king

While technology is continuously evolving, it is still all about innovative content concepts and ideas. People are flooded with advertisements from every direction all day, every day. If your content is not on message, it is not going to work. Technology helps - it can take traditional content and amend it, but in the end the content has to work. In order for consumers to form a personal connection with your brand, your stories must be authentic, creative and enriching.

Katharina Schneider, CEO MediaShop, reveals that expanding across different social media and digital marketing platforms has been a high priority and a very successful one for MediaShop.

# Find your (other) target group.

Even though TV is still the main revenue driver, an internal focus group of MediaShop showed that a lot of potential customers aged 19-23 years knew MediaShop, but would never have bought a product on TV even if they found it interesting. MediaShop wanted to make sure to reach these potential customers where they would be willing to purchase. That is why expanding across different social media and digital marketing platforms has been a high priority and a very successful one. Therefore, effectively target your desired demographics, identify and understand your existing customers, but also possible future customers, survey them and make sure you determine where they can be found and reached in the right way with the right message.

Levin Vostell (Influry) Berlin was on the panel as an expert in Influencer Marketing

# Being influenced

Influencers are powerful forces. It is not about quantity reach though, but quality reach. It is not about the influencer with the biggest, but with the most loyal followers. Once again it is about credibility. You want your influencers to be your customers. Get them to love your product and they will give you the most genuine testimonials, they will use your product in real life settings and come up with innovative ways of how to use or sell it. If they are credible, they will create conversion, even if the fact that they are promoting a product for pay is well known.

Don’t try to hide the fact that you want to sell a product. Consumers are well aware of hidden agendas. Be authentic and find influencers that are authentic as well.

Conclusion

If there was one main conclusion I took away, then it is probably this: quality before quantity. The most simple and authentic message is what sells, as long as you tap into the needs of your customer base and establish a relationship.

I was fortunate enough to be part of interesting and diversified discussions with big audience involvement and I want to thank all my panelists who openly and passionately “spilled the beans”.

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Ina Bauer, Business Development and Media Manager for the MediaShop Group.

About Ina Bauer

Ina Bauer hosted panels at the MCMS Congress for the second time. She has been working for MediaShop since March 2018 where she is responsible for the growth and purchase of infomercial airtime, classic advertisement including short form ads, product placement and sponsorship as well as other media activities and partnerships throughout all core markets. She is also in charge of strategic business development.

Prior to MediaShop, Ina worked as Sales Director, Markiza Group, the leading TV network in the Slovak Republic as well as ATV, Austria’s leading commercial TV channel, where she held several management positions over 13 years, the last as Director of Sales, Marketing & New Media.

Ina Bauer started her career as a journalist in California, where she lived for seven years. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Vienna.