The ICSC Blog

Q&A with MOCIAL Speaker Becky Bui

Becky Bui_03-2014Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from Owasso, Oklahoma, but have lived in Austin for 15 years. I love everything about this city: the people, the food, the music, and the laid-back culture. I studied advertising at the University of Texas and then returned to UT in 2006 to get my MBA. I have an amazing husband, Ben, a beautiful 10 month old daughter named Berkeley, and two rescue dogs named Jordy and Gabe. In addition to spending time with my family, I love to practice yoga, travel, cheer on the Longhorns (much to the display of my OU-loving family), visit wineries and breweries, and try out new restaurants (especially Sunday brunches!)

What are your favorite apps to use?
I love any app that makes my life easier! Uber makes transportation a breeze, especially if I find myself facing a long cab line or trying to hail a taxi in a snowstorm. Evernote is great for keeping my notes organized and accessible across devices. I love being able to capture notes when they pop in my head, which is normally when I’m nowhere near my desk.  I do all of my expense reports through an app my company uses called Concur, which I like to joke has been a life-changer. It’s just crazy to think that a few years ago I had to save receipts, tape them to an piece of paper, make a copy, and staple them together before submitting…and now I can simply take a photo on my phone and hit submit. Retailers don’t like to hear this one, but I really do enjoy the Amazon app. Amazon had done an amazing job of making shopping so incredibly easy with barcode scanning and one-click purchasing. I can’t talk about apps without mentioning Facebook, of course, since it’s the first, last and most frequent app that I check each day!

With society’s increasing dependence on technology, what changes in marketing strategies has it made in last few years? 
Great question. The first is that people are omnichannel.
People are consuming more media than ever. In fact, 79% of smartphone users keep their phones with them for all but two hours of their waking day. (Source: IDC Always Connected Report, US, March 2013) The more businesses shift their marketing resources and activities to reflect people’s behavior,  the better results they’re seeing. Importantly, as people increasingly connect on mobile devices throughout their day, they expect seamlessness experiences—seamlessness across their devices (mobile versus desktop) and seamlessness with their experiences in-store and online. Add Facebook’s massive reach and targeting capabilities to that dynamic and personalizing these experiences not only makes for more effective marketing, but it enhances that customer’s experience with your business. Personalizing experiences for shoppers—with perfectly timed and tailored messages—and having a presence on all of the devices they use throughout their day is critical to every stage of the purchase funnel. Because people spend more time on Facebook than any other platform, reaching all of the people who matter to your business has never been easier or more effective. Second, merchandising. Most people don’t know what they want, which gives retailers tremendous opportunity to inspire ideas through merchandising. But as people spend more time on mobile, discovery becomes increasingly difficult for marketers and shoppers alike. With people checking Facebook an average of 14x per day, retailers can use the visual canvas of News Feed to showcase products in-stream with ad units that are optimized to drive sales. Third, return on investment is key to the story. The path to purchase has become increasingly complex, particularly as people discover, research, and shop for products across channels and devices. Because Facebook’s data is based on people’s real identities—not user names, proxies  or email addresses—advertisers can not only personalize and time what their customer sees, but they can accurately measure and optimize performance across channels. With Facebook’s complete measurement solution, you can close the loop between ad spend and conversion, no matter where it happened — in-store, online or in mobile app.

What have been the benefits of incorporating digital marketing and mobile apps into your corporation? 
The major benefit is that our clients and the 1B+ people who use Facebook around the world have better experiences. Because we are a mobile-first company businesses can leverage Facebook to reach people where they are spending their time. This is critical as people increasingly shop, share, and conduct business on their smartphones. For context, 1 in 5 minutes spent on mobile devices in the US is spent on a Facebook or Instagram. This provides businesses with an incredible opportunity to get their messages in front of the people they care about.

What do you hope participants will gain by attending your MOCIAL session? 
I hope to give participants confidence in embracing the digital transformation rather than feeling overwhelmed by it.  I’d like participants to walk away feeling excited about the opportunity to use Facebook to connect with all the people they care about, across the devices, and feel good about how other retailers are already doing it so they can put Facebook to work for their business right away.

Is the increasing number of online shoppers a concern to you? 
While the vast majority of retails sales still happen in store, the shift to online shopping is something we’re going to see more of. This can be very good for our industry. As I mentioned earlier, the notion of people expecting seamlessness across their devices and in their experiences is an important one because it highlights the needs to be omnichannel in a now-omnichannel world. I firmly believe that all retailers—brick-and-mortar only, web-only, or multichannel—have the opportunity to influence customers who are shopping online. Often times, online shopping just means a person is discovering new brands and products when consuming other content. Brands that can ensure their products are a part of that experience will continue to influence the consumer purchase path, regardless of where the final transaction takes place.

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