The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s secret sauce to mobile marketing

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has introduced unique experiences over the past two years to surprise and delight consumers, ranging from an immersive virtual racetrack to developing a racing rhythm game to drive renewed consumer engagement. In addition to building consumer loyalty, the club has also doubled down on the mobile marketing scene, stopping consumers’ thumbs with its marketing campaigns amidst the crowded digital space.

Thanks to his efforts, the club impressed the judges and won Gold for Best Mobile Payments Integration and Bronze for Best Use of Mobile – Customer Engagement as well as Best User Experience, Most Innovative Use of moving to INTERACTIVE-MARKETING‘s Mob-Ex Awards 2022. It was also a finalist for Best Use of Mobile Integration and Best Campaign Pivot.

In an interview with INTERACTIVE-MARKETINGBirgitta Tam, Head of Digital Customer Experience, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, explains some of the changes the company is seeing in mobile marketing and how brands can reduce the clutter.

This interview is conducted as part of the MARKETING-INTERACTIVE Winners and Finalists Interview Series for the 2022 Mob-Ex Awards. Read more about the awards here.

When it comes to mobile marketing, what changes are you seeing?

Tam: Mobile is the first point of contact with prospects for most companies today. It is essential to optimize marketing efforts on the mobile platform to increase brand awareness. Native ads that mimic content users are already interacting with are a less intrusive and more effective way to reach leads and increase brand awareness. A seamless online onboarding experience is key to lowering the barrier of collecting data and initially understanding a customer’s preferences to deliver better and more personalized content and experience to drive more sales.

Mobile is also the key platform for ongoing interaction with customers to build long-term loyalty. Customers are not only looking for information, but they are placing more emphasis on the value of authenticity and the experience that a business can provide. Creation of relevance is an increasingly important trend, for example, location-based content, personalized content based on consumer preferences, past purchases and content viewing behavior, among others. Getting the right timing for replacement offers or notifications is as crucial as having relevant content. Otherwise, they would always create an inferior experience for customers.

How have customer expectations changed this year? What did you do to pivot?

Tam: The trend of more affordable mobile data plans and sophisticated mobile apps in the market has undoubtedly increased customer expectations of their mobile experiences at the same time. For example, the content format has changed significantly from text and image to video.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has made considerable efforts to improve live viewing experiences, including live streaming quality and latency reduction. We also offer a new personalized way to watch the races, such as a multi-angle camera allowing customers to choose their own angle to watch the races (vs. traditional push content) and AI technology to help customers recognize their horses selected on their own screen. This is a breakthrough in the horse racing industry. We will continue to improve the experience to allow customers to have more autonomy and interaction when watching live races.

We also provide an unparalleled experience for customers to create their own content on mobile, for example, their own race notes, horse picks and featured results in their selected visual design and share them with friends. User-generated content can engage and influence other customers more powerfully because only if they like what they use will they share it with others.

Mobile is one of the top priorities for brands these days. What advice would you give brands to reduce clutter?

Tam: Customers are now overwhelmed with different brands and information. Personalization and relevance are the key to capturing their immediate awareness and then building their interest. Therefore, many companies have developed recommendation engines to introduce content and products based on customer preferences and past behavior. However, we will also focus on enabling customers to explore new topics, products and experiences for cross-selling and building brand loyalty across different dimensions.

What are your plans for the coming year?

Tam: The latest technology has opened up many possibilities to improve mobile experiences with unprecedented innovative ideas. Customers don’t expect to get information or experience the app just through the traditional UI and clicks. The natural interface will be another big trend when customers go mobile. It’s the easiest way for everyone to use the mobile app, including the elderly. We will look for ways to detect voice prompts to improve the experience, such as completing transactions and answering questions. AI is another “must have” technology for learning behavior and predicting the needs of individual customers to deliver tailored experiences.