With their latest campaign, The Big City Centre Vote, Majid-Al-Futtaim opens the floor to mall visitors, to develop customized solutions catering to their wants and needs.
A boardroom meeting hosted in the heart of City Centre, Deira, Dubai, explored the results of Majid-Al Futtaim’s recent campaign, The Big City Centre Vote and the retail group’s future plans on expanding to its consumers' wants and needs.
Communicate sat down with the Senior Director of Marketing Communications for Majid-Al-Futtaim Shopping Malls to dive deeper into the campaign’s know-how and its renewed approach to marketing.
What does the ‘Big City Centre Vote’ campaign aim to do?
What makes a brand successful is its ability to listen to its customers. This campaign kicked off with an NPS survey, which asked people to tell us whether they would recommend us to another brand, it's quite a popular feedback loop that a lot of brands use globally. But it doesn't give you real deep insight. And as we know, malls are such a huge part of people's daily lives. In the UAE and the region, we wanted to make sure that we were understanding what's happening in consumers’ minds, and what their expectation is going to be for the future. We’ve taken this meeting room from our offices and moved it into the mall to allow people to have a voice on how they would like to see the evolution of the mall. The campaign itself is called the Big City Centre vote, and it's happening across all city centers, and what's beautiful about it is what we hear in City Centre, Deira is completely different from what we're hearing in City Centre, Mirdif. Each mall has a local audience that has completely different needs and wants from the mall. So, for us to remain relevant to them, we had to listen to them and that’s why we've given them the opportunity to tell us through the vote what they would like to see more of. The intention is we need to go back to them now and tell them that we've heard the ideas and the votes and actually bring them to life.
How are you looking at implementing these requirements that your consumers have voted for?
I have a marketing and operations team in every mall. Now we're starting to divide all of the ideas. So, this is not going to be built into our annual marketing plans, since we're making sure that we know for sure that our activities are going to appeal to customers, but ideas will be implemented quarterly through our autumn, winter campaigns, and even festive campaigns. From now on, we're going to make sure that those campaigns are steeped in customer insights and actually deliver what customers want in the hope that will make them feel like they have a sense of belonging to the mall, and that they've had a part to play, hence, we're calling It'sYour Space. That's kind of our new brand proposition.
What role do the retailers play in this campaign? How is the campaign going to attract fresher local retailers in the market?
There are two components. One being our current retailers and the second, being new retailers looking for a break and opportunity. Malls and retailers have traditionally worked together to bring footfall to the malls and create sales for our tenants. We work with them on a consistent basis to support them. The results of the vote will help us give specific feedback to our retailers. Retailers are asking customers what they'd like to see more already. But this is another way for them to get that insight. So, we're sharing the results with our tenants particularly, you know, the feedback on sustainability.
For instance, from a food and beverage perspective, we'll say, look, people want healthier options, can you make sure that you have that on your menu as well? That’s how it’s going live in many formats with our current retailers and future prospective retailers. This is where looking at what the local entrepreneurs are doing and giving them a chance to come into a mall and see if they can be successful in bricks and mortar environment of the mall.
How is Majid-Al-Futtaim looking at making its malls more sustainable?
We are already working with partners to help us become more sustainable. We’re about to announce next month, the installation of solar panels on our roof. They will be feeding back into the grid so that we reduce our carbon emissions. We’re also doing our job to help brands and our sister companies like Carrefour to educate people, to also encourage customers to reduce their reliance on plastic bags. Not completely there but we will get there. What we’ve learned from the last year and a half is that it's no longer a question mark as to whether you will do it, it's more a case of when you are going to go plastic free and we're figuring out how to do that now. In the next couple of months, we will have to work with our retailers to do that.