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“How to trigger engagement in smarter and context specific ways via mobile” / Brainstorm

by on August 4, 2014 in Apps, Apps & Software, FaceBook, featured item, Google, iPhone, Lead Article, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile, Mobile Marketing, Mobile/Tablet, Pinterest, Retail, Retail News, Rock 'n Roll, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Donald Stuart, CEO of Brainstorm ( @Brainstorm_MS ) is the latest CEO to feature on our special six questions platform.

1. Tell me more about your success with your Spider innovation. Why have you taken the high ground with this technology?

Mobile marketing has come a long way since the advent of simple, indiscriminate push messages.  Technology is now available to marketers to perform highly sophisticated, targeted messaging based on any number of situational and behavioural triggers.  We launched Spider, the revolutionary soon-to-be patented technology, in 2012 to respond to the marketing industries’ need to react to customer demand for triggering engagement in smarter and context specific ways via mobile. To date there has been over 1.5 billion Spider interactions performed.

Brainstorm Website

Spider can perform single transactions or it can be built to encompass any number of sophisticated scenarios, mixing and matching triggers and actions.  For example a chemist can use the system to trigger promotional vouchers for sun screen, for customers passing their stores when a certain level of temperature is experienced.

You can then add in additional triggers, based on past purchasing behaviour; for example has the customer previously bought prescription sunglasses?  If so it would be appropriate to send promotions for sunglasses.  If the pollen count is high, promotions for hayfever medication could be delivered.  Spider was developed to allow organisations to quickly build complex services without the need for bespoke programming or coding.

The Spider rules technology works in real time, so it works well for location based campaigns, but also in enterprise environments, for instance for use in crisis situations.  If a food supplies company, delivering ingredients to a national fast food chain, is delayed due to major road closures, the delays have the potential to grind the operation to a halt; affecting both the bottom line and corporate reputation.

In this crisis situation Spider could send the MD of the food supplies company an SMS, which then triggers off messages to all the Directors within the company to connect for a crisis telephone conference call to discuss new routes, extra deliveries and next steps.  This can potentially happen within one hour from the initial message to the MD.  It is this flexibility within the system and the ability for its users to bend the software to their very specific needs which makes it so successful.


2. I enjoyed hearing the success stories Brainstorm has helped to create. The pollen count story from Boots and the 70% ROI retailer champagne result would make for interesting reading.

We worked with Weve, the joint venture between the UK’s three largest mobile network operators, EE, Telefonica and Vodafone, to develop a combination of location-based services and push campaigns for brands and retailers.

One project for a pharmaceuticals retailer involved the promotion of antihistamine medication using mobile messaging.  To improve the ROI, Brainstorm, worked with Weve to develop a series of triggers to deliver targeted and contextual marketing offers to consumers using our platform.  Geofences were created around all the stores in a particular area, and when people crossed the geofence it triggered our platform to perform a series of lookups to establish if the person was a known hay fever sufferer.

In addition a weather feed was incorporated to establish the pollen count levels at that particular time in that location.  If both lookups were positive, the platform sent an SMS to them informing them to take precautions as a hay fever sufferer and included a promotional voucher for antihistamines.

Getting the right message to the right audience is imperative for achieving high ROI.  It doesn’t matter whether a promotion is delivered via traditional direct mail, email, online or via mobile, if the content isn’t relevant to who you sent it to, it will be a bad promotion.

The main advantage of delivering promotions via mobile is that it can be delivered in real-time, ensuring precise targeting and relevant content.  For example, sending a champagne promotion to a segment of young males on Valentine’s Day at 4pm, increases the potential for uptake of that promotion, because let’s face it most will be panicking and rushing to the nearest petrol station at that time.

Additionally, if you can link behavioural patterns, i.e. a particular route followed everyday on the journey to work, to the stores passed and the time they pass it, and then distribute promotions at that optimum time, the ROI is likely to be much higher. We’ve seen some fantastic results on promotions that are highly targeted in this manner.


3. Let me have your comments on your team, your expansion plans, including South Africa and the Brainstorm Lab. Tell me more.

Brainstorm is part of the Oxygen8 Group, a global provider of integrated mobile solutions with offices in ten countries, operations in over 20 countries and a turnover in excess of £90million.  Brainstorm currently has a team of 48 people but is growing rapidly.  Later this year Brainstorm will be introducing additional team members, pushing the number of staff close to 60 by the autumn.  In addition Brainstorm has expanded into South Africa as we look to increase awareness of the brand across the African continent, a place where we expect an explosion of mobile marketing and mobilisation in enterprise.

Innovation is a major part of the business and Brainstorm will be taking on graduates to increase activity within our Lab.  Brainstorm’s Lab has been the hub of technical innovation for the past decade, striving to constantly challenge the way customers, enterprise and brands think about mobile products and services.  The Lab provides the platform for real time R&D, fast Proof of Concept development, thought leadership, industry and enterprise collaboration and media focus.


4. New research says.. One third of British shoppers cite security concerns as preventing them from doing mobile shopping. Your comments please?

There is no doubt that security measures have to play a significant part in mobile shopping.  However the same can be said for most parts of our digital lives.  Security is not just a mobile shopping problem, it is an issue which needs to be tracked and developed in tandem with emerging technologies in all sectors.

I would also argue that the perception of security is very different from generation to generation.  Generation Y is much more socially savvy than previous generations and tend to shrug off the concerns of security and mobile shopping.   Although mobile shopping is set to stay, I do not expect to see the back of cash or card payments anytime in the near future.


5. I was interested in your opening remark that you see Brainstorm as the ‘Unsung Hero’ of the mobile world. Why do you claim that title?

Brainstorm is one of those ‘best kept secrets’.  It is the intelligent delivery engine for many high profile mobile marketing campaigns for some of the most innovative digital players in the telecoms industry, such as Weve, amobee, and Telefonica.  We power highly targeted, intelligent messaging, allowing brands to increase ROI, engage with their consumer base and improve their brand perception.  Brainstorm works behind the scenes connecting the dots between customer data, behavioural patterns, multi-channel customer engagement and context.

Other mobile engagement players can provide SMS and email but there are no others within the space who can supply push and SMS, call connect and beacon interaction.  Some may offer Push but can’t do email and SMS.  By combining all the channels in campaigns, marketers can implement incredibly agile promotions, creating sexy and exciting marketing events.


6. Give us your thoughts on why you see mobile marketing being responsible for major societality changes in the next few years?

There is no doubt that mobile is going to play a part in nearly every aspect of our lives in the future.  Mobile has the power to, for the first time, aid our lives and save us time.  From helping customers navigate transport in a smart way to powering the connected home and providing us with tailored deals for the products and services we really want – even before we know we want it.

From a marketing perspective the power of the data collected from our mobile which, given that we can spend more time with our handsets than we do our friends, will be able to offer increasingly intelligent promotions to us, at a time which contextually makes sense.  Every activity will become slicker and ROI will increase as a result.

Brainstorm, UK Head Office

Studio 311, Highgate Studios53 / 79 Highgate Road / LondonNW5 1TL

+ 44 (0) 20 7183 3860

South Africa

23 7th Avenue, Parktown North, 2093
Johannesburg, South Africa

+ 27 11 218 5600


photo credit: Nic Taylor Photography via photopin cc

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