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Michelle Adams, senior brand manager of Freshii, and Stephen Dutton, consumer foodservice analyst at Euromonitor participated in a CONNECT Summit panel about merchants meeting the demand for delivery.

I’ve attended all five of my company’s CONNECT Summit and it’s been eye opening to see how much things have changed thanks to the device we carry in our pockets almost all the time.

One of the overriding themes from this year’s edition of CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit was an emphasis on design, whether it’s a mobile app, a loyalty program, or delivery options. And if you don’t think design isn’t an important part of an offline experience, try picking up a mobile order when a store is not “designed” to handle the real estate needed to fill those orders.

Over the next week or so, we’ll bring you coverage from the event. But for now, here are six tidbits (in no particular order) that came from sessions I attended during the summit:

  1. Mary Hines, managing director of customer engagement and innovation, Citi: “When you give that experience to people, it helps [customers] reflect back and helps to give [you a] brand identity. We give our consumers a way to interact with us on mobile and share on mobile.” Hines said this during the opening keynote on Monday. She was referring to various Citi ThankYou Rewards promotions involving concerts to music acts such as the Billy Joel series at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the ongoing Beyoncé and Jay-Z tour. Rewards members are able to experience those perks and associate them with Citi when talking about them via social media.
  2. Lisa Ajdini, director of mobile strategy, Caesars Entertainment: “We have to prove the value to keep it on their phones, even between trips. We will give you a very different message depending on where you are. The combination of the message and location is very key for us. We learned early on not to send messages to the masses, but those who are most engaged.” Ajdini shared this during a panel discussion about mobile messaging. Caesars wants their guests to be engaged with its mobile app even when patrons are not visiting their properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
  3. Desmond Overstreet, global digital product marketing, McDonald’s: “Listen to the data. Leverage data points to help make decisions that need to be made.” Overstreet said this during the same mobile messaging panel as Ajdini. McDonald’s takes data gained from various marketing campaigns to figure out the next big promotion for the company.
  4. Michelle Adams, senior brand manager, Freshii: “We see the third-party [delivery] platforms as digital food courts. Through these platforms, [consumers] can learn about your brands and that raises awareness. If you’re not located on these digital food courts, then you’re missing out.” Adams talked about the importance of making franchisees aware of the opportunities of being listed on mobile delivery platforms such as Uber Eats and GrubHub.
  5. Amanda Manna, former head of narrative and partnerships, Lowe’s Innovation Labs:“Why don’t we go out there and try to do something about it instead of those innovators going to our competitors?” Manna said this during her keynote speech on Tuesday. She was referring to Lowe’s getting a jump on their competition when it came to developing what the company viewed as innovative services.
  6. Willy Lai, vice president of user experience design, Macy’s: “Bring the user into the product development process. If you’re going to be designing for user-centered design, wouldn’t you actually want to have those users at the center? Wouldn’t it be far better to gauge before you launch so that you can course correct? If you bring those user in, you have a better chance to course correct.” Lai said this during CONNECT’s closing keynote speech.


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