Welcome to Mobile First — This is a weekly podcast that digs into the mobile strategy, user insights, and technology driving the latest in business innovation.
This podcast is brought to you by Emerge Interactive
I’m your host, Jordan Bryant.
Every week, I talk with today’s biggest thought leaders leveraging mobile.
We’ll gain insights from their experience to help your organization truly become Mobile First.
Ali Wing is the Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Digital Channels at Maurices. Ali started her career with NIKE in marketing (NIKE women and sport casual) and later moved into corporate development (NIKE and NIKE International). From creating brand, marketing and digital strategies for venture capital–backed multichannel retail concepts like Gazoontite to founding and launching Giggle, a multichannel retailer, wholesaler and licenser of baby products, Ali’s passion and legacy is brand building and innovation.
Here are the highlights of the conversation with our Guest:
- Ali gives us a peek of her life from getting used to a new city, growing up as a small-town kid among nine other siblings, how she accidently fell in love with brand, brand strategy and brand development, and how she got introduced to Nike.
- The memory that fueled her passion for connecting with the customer and the strategies they had employed to arrive with the most effective first women’s campaign such as journey mapping and recognizing when you have made a mistake
- How Ali’s personality and her skill set play in coming up with her perspectives to arrive with the right marketing plan for her target markets; and how she drives the balance of having an art/math mentality.
- What inspired Giggle and its genesis. Ali shares details on how she had gained a unique perspective when growing up and how this led her to tap data and analytics for insights to bring Giggle into fruition.
- How she took Giggle from concept to scale; and her big wins including being born omni-channel, rolling out the retail side of the company a year before the crash, being able to filter market feedback and learning that everything takes work and takes time.
- The things she finds hard to implement in being an omni-channel in bigger companies and the overarching complexities that she has to deal with among the issues she is brought in the solve.
- Ali explains why research and customer journey mapping are among her top priorities when she is brought in to intervene; and gives examples why balancing innovation and removal of friction points are equally important in staying in the game.
- Where they are focusing their attention on in terms of digital channels to ensure they are making their impact: mobile first. Ali shares how their forecasts were blown away by how quickly consumers had switched to mobile and how it is becoming clear that an increasing number of consumers are no longer investing in desktops.
- How Ali sees mobile evolving and how it changes their business processes. She also discusses the impact of geo fencing and the value of the data it brings in.
Rapid Fire Questions:
How would you define innovation?
- It’s leveraging creativity, technology and teams to solve problems that, at the end of the day, the consumers tell you with their wallet.
Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
- Execution is everything. Innovation, as a concept, is less about an idea and more about a philosophy and execution is where you bring it to life. Most initial ideas are wrong, they just put you on the map but the question is how you execution to find the right point in the map. So I’ll give you 99% to 1% going towards execution.
What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
- You cannot take for granted the change is hard for some people so I remind myself to help people move to the process for this evolution.
What is your favorite business book?
- Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
What is your favorite mobile app resource?
- Scott Galloway
What is your favorite app and why?
What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?
- Our discovery platform gets data from our customers to find out how they came to us – offline or online – but they have to become a customer first for me to see their data so there is a gap there. We are doing beta testing to start mapping identities so we solve this.