The Mobile Market Boom
Until 2013, many marketers had a hard time mastering the art of mobile marketing. They may have lacked essential resources or basic strategies but all this changed in 2013 when many companies started using this form of advertising as a way to inform customers about their products and services. According to Mobile Marketing Watch, this was the year that ad spend started booming, which saw a growth of 100% with mobile reach extended to almost every channel. From the social-media and email to brick and mortar integrations such as mobile coupons and in-store check-ins, mobile marketing made a huge, unexpected leap in 2013. Today, this form of marketing has become an immense success for many retailers and vendors. In fact, it has become a legitimate advertising channel in many parts of the world.
The success of mobile marketing is due to a number of great marketing strategies:
- Use of QR Codes
QR codes are usually scanned by users who are then taken to a specific website the QR code is attached to. Although they have been around since in the 1990s, last year saw an increase in their usage. Many retailers and vendors are embracing this technology as we have seen in PayPal Mobile payment QR codes, coupons and ticket codes. The main advantage of code usage is the fact that it provides an easy, paperless customer experience.
- Social-Media Integration
With millions of people using social media as a way to get easy access to products and services, many marketers are grabbing this opportunity and are now reaping huge rewards. A research conducted by an online payment service provider, First Data, revealed that 81% of smartphone users check social media products/services reviews before making a purchase. This is why these marketers integrate their mobile programs with customer reviews and sharing buttons on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Cash-in on Cross-Channel Promotions
Mobile offers many opportunities for marketers to grow their subscriber list through various customer interactions like email, in-store and online check-out, as well as on social media. According to Visual.ly (platform for data visualization & infographics), the average email click-through rate is 4.2% and 19% for SMS. To help with the situation, Express (clothes retailers) sends its email subscribers a coupon for opting in their SMS program.
- Creation of Seasonal Engagement Programs
Starbucks uses SMS program to keep its customers engaged through subscribers holiday specials, weekly offers, as well as cheerful holiday messages.
- Coupon Delivery via SMS
Many marketers are increasingly using coupons via SMS or push notifications in order to raise awareness of the special offers available.
- Offering Value
Major online sellers such as Amazon and Modcloth send customer alerts or transaction confirmations using mobile whenever wish list items go on sale. In fact, a study conducted by Visual.ly revealed that about 90% of consumers who embrace mobile loyalty programs feel that they have gained a lot of value from them.
- Mobile TV Advertising
Coca-Cola saw a marketing opportunity during the 2013 Super Bowl by airing commercials that targeted mobile users, which saw an increase in web-traffic.
- Tapping into Geo-location Services
Use of geo-location technology to deliver targeted messages has also become popular as sellers such as Subway and Best Buy use this innovation to customers who are in support of the program.
- Raising Awareness
According to Visual.ly, the average user checks their phones approximately 150 times a day, making mobile the ultimate option to raise brand awareness. For example, Rue La La, an online shopping site sends push notifications to its subscribers to keep them updated on the latest sales.
- Customer Data Analyzation
Since mobile devices are viewed as private and personal, marketing content must be relevant and respectful. Important information such as age, location, demographic, and other necessary information must be used in order to send timely content which is relevant.
- Time Consideration
Sending alerts and notifications during a specific time of the day such as lunch or dinner can be annoying. Consumers should be allowed to set their own parameters as to when and how they should be contacted.
- Mobilization of Sales People
Apple is perhaps most popular for mobilizing its salespeople by providing them with iPads to enable them look up products and make transactions. Nordstrom, a fashion retailer, also allows its salespeople to send follow-up emails, which is a powerful marketing strategy.
- Embracing Apple Passbook
The Apple Passbook allows consumers to easily access tickets, coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards through their phones. It’s a smart strategy for encouraging consumers to use mobile payments and coupons.
- Allow for Easy Opt-out
Providing opt-out options for mobile notifications like what we see on email subscriptions is important. To avoid bad press and reputation, marketers should always provide an opt-out option.
- Target Moms
According to a research conducted last year by eMarketer in the US, the number of moms using smart phones increased by 34% in a year. Another research conducted by the same surveyor revealed that 52% moms like receiving messages or notifications from certain retailers while 44% like receiving emails from specific stores