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May 02, 2007

MEX 2007 Report: Cliff Crosbie, Global Director of Retail Marketing, Nokia

Posted in: User Insights, Mobile Events, Events, consumer, MEX, Nokia

Cliff Crosby, Nokia
MEX CONFERENCE, LONDON — Well the day has wound to a close here in London, and my mind is a-swirl with new ideas for the mobile experience. The format of this conference is rather refreshing, with a mixture of speakers, panel discussions, and group breakout sessions, which has been conducive for both keeping things interesting and providing opportunities for much-needed elbow-rubbing with other like minds shaping the mobile space.

The day kicked off this morning with Cliff Crosbie, Global Director of Retail Marketing for Nokia. Cliff has spent many years working in the retail space, and asked us the question, “When does exceptional service happen?” He pointed out that the big idea, the big brand, rests in the hands of the young person who is working in the mobile retail environment. It’s on them to deliver on the brand promise, which may be difficult if they are distracted, disenfranchised, or simply not knowledgable about the product.

Cliff quoted a recent article from The Sun, which said that “owning a mobile phone can improve living standards more than being given the right to vote.”

I found it refreshing and challenging to think of the mobile user experience in terms outside the actual interface. As someone who spends my day within a 240 x 320 grid, its easy to lose focus on the bigger picture of the whole mobile value chain.

In the end, Cliff affirmed, it’s all about people. People buy from those who are experienced with the product, so it’s vital to make sure your mobile retail sales staff is living mobility, and can provide a personal, prescriptive sales consultation with prospective customers.

Cliff also emphasized the need for live display devices in stores. Sure, they get “nicked,” but sales rise 40% when live devices are in place.

The first breakout session topic was (paraphrased) “What three things would you change about the way handsets were sold?” Each group had about 30 minutes to step away and discuss, then report back to all delegates.

Some of the high points from the group sessions:

- Build trust with your customer

- Mass customization of handsets (”built to order” phones, ala. Dell)

- Consultative sales

- Simpler pricing

- Focus on the lifetime of the device

- Help migrate users from an old device to a new one.

- Out of the box usability

Finally, the new word of the day: “simplexity”

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