City Tour Thought Leadership Series: Mike Wilson


Beth Perry

So far, Bronto City Tour has traveled to London, New York and Los Angeles, and now we’re getting ready for our final stop in Sydney. Throughout our global trek, we’ve highlighted the commerce marketing expertise of many of the speakers and participants on the tour.

Mike Wilson, tinymeToday, we hear from Mike Wilson, Founder of tinyme, a popular Australian-based online retailer specializing in personalized kids’ products. Wilson will be the keynote speaker at City Tour Sydney.

What do you see as the future role of email in commerce marketing?

I think it has something to do with this secret formula … interoperability + permission = personalisation. Let me explain the three components:

1. Interoperability. To quote Avinash Kaushik, “Make sure that, at the highest level, your media strategy is solving for And and not Or. TV and radio and Google and email and x and y and z. It is silly to ask, ‘Should we do TV or digital?’” Digital technologies are increasingly interoperable and playing nicer with each other. Done right, this gives email superpowers and allows it to be not only a key marketing channel but one that complements other channels and responds to the whims of each customer.

Increasingly, email will be seen less as the kid off in the corner doing it’s own thing and more as one of the gang that’s all working together (using their powers for good, of course).

2. Permission. Email still holds a unique power as the communication method that requires brands and marketers to have permission from customers to speak to them. It’s a wonderful privilege that must not be abused.

3. Personalisation. Combine #1 (all the tools that are increasingly becoming mainstream and playing nicely with your ESP, such as single customer view, real-time data exchange, and machine learning) with #2 (permission to use this cool new toolkit). Then, sprinkle it liberally with some creativity and design flair, and what do you get? The right message sent to the right person at the right time. Genius!

What do you think of the revenue-generating capability of social media platforms?

It depends on which month you ask me. Personally, we’ve had some great success in driving revenue from social and I know quite a few others who have, but it can change like the wind. As with a lot of things in marketing these days, social media requires a commitment to continual learning, data-driven experimentation and periodically asking if it’s actually a good way of communicating with your customers.

What will be the biggest breakthrough in omnichannel marketing in 2016?

Being a pure play niche online retailer, I may not be the best one to ask, but I think we’ll start to see the mainstreaming of the “marketing stack,” allowing marketers to communicate in an increasingly more relevant way to specific customers. The customer experience, including in-store, onsite, apps, social and email, will become more consistent and relevant.

For the bigger retailers, this happens through full stack, all-in-one solutions where the left hand knows exactly what the right hand is doing. But the smaller end of town won’t be fully left out, thanks to an ever-growing array of affordable tech that’s coming along, which allows the left and right hands to at least high five or meet with the occasional fist bump. Better communication is coming, and it will be everywhere.

Want to learn more about the best and brightest in commerce marketing? If you’re in the area, join us for City Tour Sydney next Monday. And keep checking the blog for more posts from this series. In the meantime, you can find a collection of other recently published Q&As here.

To learn more about tinyme, visit their website.


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