Q&A: Fintan Gillespie, Head of UK Enterprise Business Solutions at Snap Inc – 365 RETAIL


Jessica Jacobs, incubata’s Global Director, Partnerships & Growth, recently spoke to some of the key players in the marketing industry to discuss their views on the future of marketing, including a personal interview with Fintan Gillespie, UK Director of Enterprise Business Solutions at addon inc

Q: With Snapchat originally launching in 2011, what has made it such an exciting platform for advertisers?

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Fintan: “We really started to flourish when Apple introduced the first ‘selfie-enabled’ iPhone, expanding the notion that communicating through images and photos is much more engaging than using the keyboard. The way we communicate has changed, it has become more visually stimulating and Snapchat provides an amazing platform to keep up with new styles of communication.

“This has brought our app into the mainstream, with 600 million active users every month, all of whom are engaged, giving marketers a huge audience they can reach on a highly visual platform that continues to innovate through of what the camera can offer and the changes it will bring to the digital ecosystem.”

Q: Snapchat was the first app to really introduce the world to Augmented Reality (AR) through its lens, but how important is AR to the marketing industry?

Fintan: “Every day, 250 million people from our user base play the augmented reality feature of our app. While they wouldn’t necessarily refer to or recognize it as AR, it’s just a part of their daily lives playing around with our lenses and filters, a core element of our users’ behavior and how they interact with our app.

“Like many areas of innovation, it started with fun presentations, like dog ears or rainbows coming out of your mouth. But fast forward to today and it’s bringing huge opportunities to how we market a product, particularly in areas like retail, by allowing you to showcase them through AR technology.

“For example, I could point the camera at my feet and try on a new pair of shoes, providing an experience equivalent to going into a store and physically trying on shoes. You’re creating an extra level of engagement, driving a more personalized user experience, which is known to lead to higher conversion rates.

“AR can also help combat e-commerce return rates, as users will be able to see what a product would look like before making the purchase online, which can save retailers huge amounts of money as well as reduce cost. environment. costs.”

Q: What does the future of AR technology hold for Snap Inc. and the marketing industry in general?

Fintan: “There are some very exciting areas of development around augmented reality and what it can bring to the marketing industry. The augmented reality try-on feature is already a powerful tool, bringing products to life in a playful and engaging way, and this is only going to grow, with more realistic representations of a product that make it indistinguishable from its physical counterparts.

“Snap Inc. has also developed a feature that allows you to take a product feed and extract a garment from 2D which then converts it to a 3D garment. A user can then take a series of full-body selfies and place that item on them, essentially allowing customers to try on any item of clothing. The scalability of this is huge, allowing retailers to swap clothing models with the customer, bringing a whole new level of personalization to the user experience.”

Q: What are the barriers companies may face when trying to introduce augmented reality?

Fintan: “Creating augmented reality used to be an exhaustive process, however services are now available that allow anyone with a 3D skill set to easily build, preview and ship augmented reality lens.

“The main barriers holding back retailers is that the industry has not yet fully absorbed what AR can mean in terms of business transformation, and there are few companies that have been able to successfully incorporate this technology internally. However, there are use cases for all industries, and augmented reality is far more engaging than many other forms of advertising currently available, with the potential to revolutionize the way we shop.”

Q: What would you say has moved in the digital industry for you?

Fintan: “Vertical video ads, or 3Vs, were a big step in the history of Snap Inc. They were originally criticized by a prominent journalist, who suggested that no one would look at an ad vertically, they would just tilt their phone. Today, however, vertical videos are the norm, and currently it seems the same conversation is being had about augmented reality.

“Snap Inc continues to innovate in the right way for the industry, and is now used by major brands on other platforms, and it’s that innovation that makes Snap Inc a great company to work for.”

Q: What are the key trends for 2023?

Fintan: “Measurement attribution and privacy are massive issues that will force a change in the way companies deal with their media. As we enter a more difficult economic period, profitability becomes key and we will see a shift in new measurement paradigms.

“And of course augmented reality and personalization will also continue to develop and shape our approach to e-commerce.”

The full conversation can be found, along with interviews with Jyri Kidwell, director of creative and creator partnerships at TikTok, Paul Limbrey, general manager of Global Client and Agency Solutions at Google, and Gemma Greaves, co-founder of Nurture and Cabal. here.


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