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Three mobile web marketing tips for the holiday shopping season August 27, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
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Bryce Marshall, Knotice

The ways shoppers make purchasing decisions in retail stores are undergoing a seismic shift. The shift is not driven by changes retailers are making to in-store promotions, store layout, retail design or packaging, however. It is driven by shoppers who have discovered that their mobile device offers a comprehensive tool set for making informed and confident decisions on what products to buy, which to pass on, or where else to make the purchase.

At the beginning of 2010 Motorola released the results of a fascinating study conducted during the 2009 holiday shopping season. Among the insights was one particularly interesting nugget: Worldwide, 51 percent of shoppers used their mobile device to help make an in-store purchase decision. The adoption rate of mobile devices generally — and smartphones specifically — continues to grow at a torrid pace. It’s common sense that mobile devices will be more vital to shoppers during the 2010 holiday season. In fact, using the mobile tool set to help make purchase decisions is no longer an emerging shopping behavior. It’s established shopping behavior.

Many of the most-trusted marketing tactics cannot adapt to the mandatory mobile contexts of time and place. And those trusty tactics cannot get down to specific increments of minutes and seconds — or meters and footsteps — like mobile interactions can. For consumers, the mobile Web unlocks the power to interact with, find, or demand the content they want at exactly the time and place they want it. The mobile Web fills the gap between layers of static, broadcast or stationary media. It fills the gap between the online and offline experience… and between Web stores and physical stores.

Here are three smart mobile Web tactics retailers can use now, and for the busy 2010 holiday shopping season. 

1. Provide the best of online in the store.

This is the clearest and most immediate opportunity for a lot of retailers, manufacturers and packaged goods providers. Consumers want the kind of detailed information found online to help make informed purchase decisions. For example, one large manufacturing company is making the great content from its website available to the in-store shopper via the mobile Web. The goal is easy access to the right amount and type of content. Not providing all of the information available on the product, just the right information to help a customer decide against a competitor’s product or prevent them from walking out of the store because of a lack of information.

The mobile Web, apps and SMS are great ways to get valuable content in the hands of in-store shoppers. Mobile solutions do not eat up valuable in-store shelf space and are more scalable and cost-effective than interactive solutions like kiosks, computers and video displays. Mobile solutions are perfect because the shopper provides the hardware.

2. Provide the tools to search, find, and motivate.

Right now consumers leverage mobile devices to search for information or make purchases while they are on-the-go. They seek convenience when busy or a diversion from boredom. They want smaller and smoother interactions. On-the-go shoppers have simple needs: Find a retailer, know what to buy, know it will be convenient, use a coupon. Apps and the mobile Web fill a potential gap in traditional media scenarios because with mobile search, location data, driving directions and coupon delivery, every shopper has the tools to locate and buy.

3. Embrace cross-channel behavior, don’t fight it.

A traditional failure by hybrid retailers, one that drives customers crazy, is the counter-intuitive division between online and physical retail operations. The organizational limitations of the retailer prevent a brand from embracing consumers’ cross-channel preferences. Right now many consumers use the traditional Web to research products, or create a shopping/wish list, all while intending to buy at a retail store. They use online tools but don’t buy online. Marketers can embrace this online-to-offline migration by creating mobile solutions that combine virtual and physical experiences in a consumer-centric mashup. For instance, allow online browsers to create a mobile cart or shopping list, then forward it to a mobile device via SMS, or access a shopping list via a personalized mobile Web page or app. Shoppers can quickly reference product information, SKUs, pricing and store location information — all of which ensures a seamless and profitable cross-channel retail experience.

On-the-go shoppers are looking for information right now. They are ready to make a purchase decision right now. They simply crave convenience, direction and purchase confidence. Deliver these experiences in every mobile interaction and your shoppers will be grateful now, and this winter when it counts the most.

Bryce Marshall is the director of strategic services for marketing firm Knotice.

Smartphone Owners Mobile Purchasing Behaviors Differ by Device January 7, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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As consumers become more and more dependent on their mobile phones to assist them in their everyday lives, it’s inevitable that they will begin to make purchases via mobile.  In a transition similar to that of the Internet before it, consumers are now beginning to test the capabilities of their mobile device to become the ultimate tool of convenience allowing them to handle the purchase of items they need using mobile technology.  And as it was with the Internet, retailers are now playing ‘catch up’ to make that capability available.  However, as those retailers begin to develop their mobile marketing strategies they can now take advantage of the research offered below.

Therefore, we recommend that all retailers become familiar with the information below and then begin the process of optimizing their websites for mobile viewing. Should you elect not to optimize for all mobile devices, then use the information below to select the the device whose user-demographic profile best matches your target demo’s.

Retailers can learn more about the best ways to use mobile technology to promote their products and services by visiting our website, and if your firm would like to explore using mobile, we at Strategic Growth Concepts would be happy to assist you.  To schedule a free consultation regarding using mobile marketing for your firm, contact us via our website.

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Center for Media Research

According to the Compete quarterly Smartphone Intelligence survey, smartphone owners are more comfortable buying from their handsets, but still have some site functionality problems. 8% of smartphone owners that tried to purchase a product on their device were unable to do so. 45% of those that abandoned the process reported that they did so because the site would not load, and an additional 38% left the site because it was not developed specifically for smartphone users.

Danielle Nohe, director of consumer technologies for Compete, points out that “… smartphone use is no longer limited to an exclusive group of tech savvy consumers. As… people grow more comfortable transacting, site owners must redesign around mobile shopping ease-of-use… ”

Nonetheless, says the report, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is ready to explode in 2010. But Nohe cautions that marketers recognize the differences that vary by individual and device. For instance, he says “We’re seeing notable behavior differences across devices… (as) users of the Android operating system share different characteristics than Blackberry and iPhone enthusiasts.”

Key findings from Compete’s Q3 2009 Smartphone Intelligence survey include:

  • 37% of smartphone owners have purchased something non-mobile with their handset in the past 6 months
  • 19% of total smartphone owners have purchased music from their device, 14% have purchased books, DVDs, or video games and 12% have purchased movie tickets
  • 40% of Android owners and 51% of Blackberry owners would spend $500 or more to buy a product from their mobile phone, compared to 9% of iPhone owners
  • The most popular mobile shopping-related activities are research related: 41% of iPhone users and 43% of Android users are most likely to check sale prices at alternative locations from their mobile phones while they are shopping
  • The second most likely activity is accessing consumer reviews, with 39% of iPhone owners and 31% of Android owners investigating reviews from their handset before they purchase
  • While m-commerce is poised for explosive growth in 2010, consumers are still more likely to abandon mobile purchasing on sites that are not optimized for the on-the-go experience, similar to shopping cart abandonment in the early days of e-commerce.
Shopping Use of SmartPhone Away From Computer (% of SmartPhone Owner Respondents Using At All)
Use of Smartphone % of Respondents
Look up shopping info about item to purchase online 68%
Find address & store hours of preferred store 68
Review a product description 52
Look at 3rd party or consumer review of product while in store 45
Check order status originally placed online 43
Look for retailer or product coupons 43
Check for availability of in-store pickup 40
Check price of in store item as “good deal” 36
Make purchase after seeing item in store 34
Make purchase if product not available in store 28
Make purchase without seeing item in store 28
Check status of rebate submitted 24
Source: Compete Smartphone Intelligence Survey, Q3 2009

Compete’s Smartphone Intelligence combines consumer insights with behavioral data to reveal how smartphone owners are using their phones.

For additional information about this study, please visit here.

Strategic Growth Concepts’ CEO Interviewed About Mobile Marketing for Small Business July 31, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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We would like to thank Justin Hong, host of the BlogTalkRadio show, ‘The Small Business MBA’ for inviting our firm’s CEO, Linda Daichendt, to be aBlogTalkRadio graphic guest on his show today for a discussion about ‘Mobile Marketing for Small Business’.  Topics discussed included:

  • the benefits of mobile marketing
  • explanations of the different types of mobile marketing
  • the Federal laws that affect a mobile marketing program
  • the results a small business can expect from a mobile marketing campaign
  • the costs of implementing a mobile marketing campaign
  • ways in which small businesses can use mobile marketing to promote their business and reach consumers

Be sure to listen to today’s broadcast by clicking HERE so you can take advantage of the special offer our CEO made available to the show’s listeners!

Mom-and-Pop Businesses Succeed with Social Media July 26, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Twitter.
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By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER, New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Three weeks after Curtis Kimball opened his crème brûlée cart in San Francisco, he noticed a stranger among the friends in line for his desserts. How had the man discovered the cart? He had read about it on Twitter.
Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Curtis Kimball, owner of a crème brûlée cart in San Francisco, uses Twitter to drive his customers to his changing location.

For Mr. Kimball, who conceded that he “hadn’t really understood the purpose of Twitter,” the beauty of digital word-of-mouth marketing was immediately clear. He signed up for an account and has more than 5,400 followers who wait for him to post the current location of his itinerant cart and list the flavors of the day, like lavender and orange creamsicle.

“I would love to say that I just had a really good idea and strategy, but Twitter has been pretty essential to my success,” he said. He has quit his day job as a carpenter to keep up with the demand.

Much has been made of how big companies like Dell, Starbucks and Comcast use Twitter to promote their products and answer customers’ questions. But today, small businesses outnumber the big ones on the free microblogging service, and in many ways, Twitter is an even more useful tool for them.

For many mom-and-pop shops with no ad budget, Twitter has become their sole means of marketing. It is far easier to set up and update a Twitter account than to maintain a Web page. And because small-business owners tend to work at the cash register, not in a cubicle in the marketing department, Twitter’s intimacy suits them well.

“We think of these social media tools as being in the realm of the sophisticated, multiplatform marketers like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, but a lot of these supersmall businesses are gravitating toward them because they are accessible, free and very simple,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who studies the Internet’s influence on shopping and local businesses.

Small businesses typically get more than half of their customers through word of mouth, he said, and Twitter is the digital manifestation of that. Twitter users broadcast messages of up to 140 characters in length, and the culture of the service encourages people to spread news to friends in their own network.

Umi, a sushi restaurant in San Francisco, sometimes gets five new customers a night who learned about it on Twitter, said Shamus Booth, a co-owner.

He twitters about the fresh fish of the night — “The O-Toro (bluefin tuna belly) tonight is some of the most rich and buttery tuna I’ve had,” he recently wrote — and offers free seaweed salads to people who mention Twitter.

Twitter is not just for businesses that want to lure customers with mouth-watering descriptions of food. For Cynthia Sutton-Stolle, the co-owner of Silver Barn Antiques in tiny Columbus, Tex., Twitter has been a way to find both suppliers and customers nationwide.

Since she joined Twitter in February, she has connected with people making lamps and candles that she subsequently ordered for her shop and has sold a few thousand dollars of merchandise to people outside Columbus, including to a woman in New Jersey shopping for graduation gifts.

“We don’t even have our Web site done, and we weren’t even trying to start an e-commerce business,” Ms. Sutton-Stolle said. “Twitter has been a real valuable tool because it’s made us national instead of a little-bitty store in a little-bitty town.”

Scott Seaman of Blowing Rock, N.C., also uses Twitter to expand his customer base beyond his town of about 1,500 residents. Mr. Seaman is a partner at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese shop and owns a bed and breakfast in town. He sets up searches on TweetDeck, a Web application that helps people manage their Twitter messages, to start conversations with people talking about his town or the mountain nearby. One person he met on Twitter booked a room at his inn, and a woman in Dallas ordered sake from his shop.

The extra traffic has come despite his rarely pitching his own businesses on Twitter. “To me, that’s a turn-off,” he said. Instead of marketing to customers, small-business owners should use the same persona they have offline, he advised. “Be the small shopkeeper down the street that everyone knows by name.”

Chris Mann, the owner of Woodhouse Day Spa in Cincinnati, twitters about discounts for massages and manicures every Tuesday. Twitter beats e-mail promotions because he can send tweets from his phone in a meeting and “every single business sends out an e-mail,” he said.

Even if a shop’s customers are not on Twitter, the service can be useful for entrepreneurs, said Becky McCray, who runs a liquor store and cattle ranch in Oklahoma and publishes a blog called Small Biz Survival.

In towns like hers, with only 5,000 people, small-business owners can feel isolated, she said. But on Twitter, she has learned business tax tips from an accountant, marketing tips from a consultant in Tennessee and start-up tips from the founder of several tech companies.

Anamitra Banerji, who manages commercial products at Twitter, said that when he joined the company from Yahoo in March, “I thought this was a place where large businesses were. What I’m finding more and more, to my surprise every single day, is business of all kinds.”

Twitter, which does not yet make money, is now concentrating on teaching businesses how they can join and use it, Mr. Banerji said, and the company plans to publish case studies. He is also developing products that Twitter can sell to businesses of all sizes this year, including features to verify businesses’ accounts and analyze traffic to their Twitter profiles.

According to Mr. Banerji, small-business owners like Twitter because they can talk directly to customers in a way that they were able to do only in person before. “We’re finding the emotional distance between businesses and their customers is shortening quite a bit,” he said.

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If after completing this article you’re still not certain how Twitter can be utilized to market your company, we would be happy to assist you in developing a customized program to promote your business.  Please feel free to contact us via our website or via email at linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com to schedule a FREE initial consultation.

Time to Begin Planning Mobile Strategies to Aid Holiday Sales July 11, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Marketing Plan, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Mickey Alam Khan, July 6, 2009

It’s only three months before mobile can expect to play a significant role in searching and shopping for the holidays. Marketers, agencies and vendors should gear up for the traffic and the expectations.

As is customary, marketers are already working on lists for catalog, direct mail, insert media and email drops for the holidays, along with planning print, television, radio and online buys for those with the budget. Mobile should now be included in that media mix.

First it is key to understand mobile’s role in the holidays. It certainly won’t supplant ecommerce or the wired Web. It won’t take away from print, TV or radio’s branding strengths. And it won’t compete with the catalog, mailer, insert or email.

SMS msg on cell in hand - verticalInstead, mobile will give legs to those channels, through mobile advertising, mobile marketing and mobile commerce.

Long on short codes
Let’s start with catalogs.

Each catalog invites users to shop via phone, mail or by entering a SKU number on the brand’s Web site. Perhaps it would be wise to add a keyword and common short code on each catalog, inviting recipients to text and opt in to the loyalty program for alerts of new deals, shipping incentives or discounts during the holidays.

A similar effort with targeted direct mail and inserts – unique keyword and short code – can actually track the piece’s efficacy in case the customer or prospect responds to the call to action.

Mentioning a keyword and short code on marketing and retail email newsletters can also encourage enrollment into the overall loyalty program with the mobile number.

Adding SMS to print, TV and radio will help track the effectiveness of print and broadcast advertising at a time when the sales pitches are at their shrillest. After all, the holidays are the annual Olympics for retail and marketing.

It’s as simple as that: a keyword and short code. But start preparing now. Wireless carriers take their own sweet time approving SMS programs, and with new requirements in place, marketers have to provide every detail about their planned campaigns.

What the carriers don’t want – and certainly will prevent at all costs – is a collapse of their network due to a deluge of commercial SMS messages. Nor do they want to be accused of spam, even if it’s a perception issue.

At any rate, expect holidays 2009 to set a record for holiday-oriented SMS messages exchanged between brand and consumer.

Site to see
Another holiday marketing tool that requires immediate attention is a mobile or mobile-friendly Web site.

With the falling costs of creating a mobile site and the plethora of plug-and-play services out there, retailers and marketers have little excuse to dither on creating a mobile Web presence targeting consumers on the go.

What would consumers on the go like from their favorite brands’ mobile site? Several functionalities including a search engine for merchandise, store locator, gift-finder tool, list of best-sellers and prices, sales promotions, SMS signup, package tracker and, in some cases, the ability to buy from that site.

Smart mobile sites will also include the click-to-call functionality, linking the shopper to the pertinent store.

Obviously most of these functions would work well only on sites customized for smartphones. But it’s a necessary first step to create user-friendly mobile sites for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and more sophisticated HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia phone models.

A smart accompaniment to the mobile site is the mobile application incorporating some, if not all, the functionality available on the marketer or retailer’s mobile site.

Brands can use their store marketing or other channels such as mail, catalog, print, email or broadcast ads to urge consumers to download their app from the pertinent app store.

Make sure the app is compelling if it is not to be deleted within days of download. Occupying valuable screen real estate on, say, an iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm Pre, is a branding privilege that should not be abused.

Ads up
That takes care of the merchandising and mobile marketing sides of mobile. How about mobile advertising?

Well, now’s the time to make smart buys across leading media sites.

Brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Cartier as well as Walmart and Target should be locking up deals with trusted publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They should lock in key positions for their ads to run on those publications’ mobile sites.

These brands can also strike deals with magazine publishers such as Time Inc. or Hearst to incorporate mobile into their multichannel media buys. Mobile ads can run not only with the publishers’ sites but also within their apps as part of sponsorship deals.

All mobile ads, once clicked on, will link to special landing pages with the desired call to action or to the mobile site. As simple as that. It’s been done on the wired Web and there’s no reason why it can’t be replicated on mobile.

Look, it’s very simple: When one in 10 working-age Americans is out of work, when the nation’s mood swings between optimism and pessimism, when the national savings rate is going up, the only way that marketers will get consumers to spend is through marketing and its desired end – creation of desire.

These ideas are basic and require little effort but consultation and working with the brand’s agency or mobile marketing firm. The time has come for brands to recognize that if they want the holiday merchandise to move, they must be as mobile as their customers and prospects. Call now.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Popeye’s mobile campaign garners 54 percent opt-in July 3, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Giselle Tsirulnik, June 30, 2009

Popeyes chicken

Popeye’s mobile coupon campaign that promotes the fast food chain’s three-piece chicken dinner has achieved a 54 percent double opt-in.

Popeye'sCox Media is running television spots in Wichita, KS, encouraging consumers to text the keyword POPEYES to short code 74642. Ping Mobile powered the campaign. Already 750 consumers have texted and more than 50 percent have opted in for future communications from Popeye’s.

“This type of mobile advertising campaign was a perfect fit for the Popeye’s stores in Wichita,” said Mike Orr, account executive at Cox Media.

“With the ability to directly engage clients with coupons and offers that provide the client with detailed feedback of what day of the week as well as what time of day that a response was generated from a product placed ad is a tremendous validation of return on investment,” he said.

Consumers that texted in received a message that said, “Show this msg at Popeye’s Chicken & get a FREE 2PC DINNER with ur purchase of a 3 pc dinner & medium drink. Hurry into Popeye’s TODAY offer ends 7/31/09.”

Then consumers are asked whether they would like to join to receive future communications from Popeye’s.

The message says, “Reply YES to join the Popeye’s Chicken VIP Club! U’ll get MORE Xclusive offers just like this one right 2 ur phone! Mx3msg/mo. Std txt rts apply. Reply YES now!”

Consumers that join the Popeye’s mobile VIP Club get the following message, “Success! UR in! To quit txt STOP@anytime. Don’t keep the savings to yourself – tell your family and friends to get in on it too by texting POPEYES to 269411!”

“The strategy for this client was to find a unique and fresh way of promoting their three piece dinner- combining a great promotional offer, with a spontaneous and convenient method of redemption,” said Shira Simmonds, president of Popeye’s mobile service provider.

The results of this campaign show how positive an impact mobile marketing has had on the Popeye’s promotion.

Ms. Simmonds also said that the challenge for Popeye’s was using a newer medium while retaining the traditionalism and authenticity of its brand.

In addition, Popeye’s was faced with finding a way of integrating mobile into their redemption solutions.

Mobile was a perfect tool for the Popeye’s brand because it enabled them to reach out to their target demographic (families) via a medium that is not only accessible to them, but also one that is their most personal and convenient device.

Popeye’s also made sure that the offer was relevant and appealing to the target – a mobile coupon for a discount on dinner provides added-value to families in a time of economic uncertainty.

The fast food chain is distributing its mobile coupons via other avenues as well, including a mobile couponing campaign offering free two-piece chicken dinners (see story).

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While results of 54% opt-in are certainly not standard for mobile marketing, the results ARE typically much higher than most traditional forms of marketing.  Results of 10 – 15% are fairly standard, though many mobile campaigns have achieved a response rate as high as 30%, compared to direct mail which typically results in a 2 – 3% response rate.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Mobile Marketing Drives Customer Loyalty; and Now is Working in the Shopping Mall Industry June 18, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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As someone who spent many years in shopping mall management and marketing, I still have a keen awareness of strategies which drive consumer traffic and behavior in the shopping center environment.  As with retail in general, the name of the game is consumer loyalty, and malls have been utilizing email and membership card-based loyalty programs for years.  But now, mobile technology has provided a new spin on the shopping mall loyalty program and General Growth is the first national shopping center development/management firm to debut this cutting edge technology on a national basis.

The article below details the the new General Growth program and the strategy behind it.  For small businesses reading this article, these same strategies could be employed on a smaller scale to develop your own customer loyalty program to increase sales.  Further, this type of program can be enhanced by the integration of supplemental Social Media strategies to encourage interactivity between the members of the loyalty program and the organization.  The more “connected” the members of the group are with each other and with ‘the brand”, the more likely they are to be loyal customers and frequent users of “the brand”.

I encourage you to read the article and consider ways in which these ideas might be applied to your business.  Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and/or social media and how these tools can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing and social media articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

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Nation’s No. 2 mall owner turns to SMS for retail traffic

By Mickey Alam Khan, Mobile Marketer Daily, June 18, 2009

General Growth PropertiesMobile finds place to blossom in Oakbrook mall outside Chicago

General Growth Properties, the nation’s No. 2 mall owner, has introduced what it claims is the nation’s first national mall-based mobile advertising network.

Working with mobile marketing firm Mobisix, the troubled mall giant has extended its email-based The Club program to include The Club Mobile, an alerts service that relies on SMS. General Growth’s marquee properties include Water Tower Place in Chicago, Fashion Show at Tyson’s Galleria outside Washington and South Street Seaport in New York.

“This program is also unique in that it is driven by consumer-controlled preferences and data and analytics decisions to ensure consumers receive only the most relevant offers, and according to their opt-in rules they establish,” said Michael Foschetti, managing director of Mobisix, Charlotte, NC.

Consumers who sign up online with mobile number and other preference data at http://www.theclubmobile.com will receive discounts and offers via regularly scheduled text messages. Those who sign up stand a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

The goal of this loyalty program is to incentivize registered consumers and drive foot traffic to the more than 200 regional shopping malls with 24,000-plus retail stores that Chicago-based General Growth owns or manages in 44 states nationwide.

General Growth PropertiesDon’t discount mobile

Mobisix’s messaging platform powers The Club Mobile, delivering targeted, personal offers based on consumer-controlled preferences, data and analytics.

Here is what Mr. Foschetti had to say about The Club Mobile and mobile’s growing potential in driving retail traffic during these tough economic times:  

What’s the thinking behind The Club Mobile?
The Club mobile is an innovative new-media platform for retail brands to target specific audiences with highly relevant messages and drive store traffic. 

General Growth PropertiesWill mobile book returns for General Growth’s Jordan Creek mall in Des Moines, IA?

In these economic times, the more innovative ways we can use technology to inform the consumer of events and sales while utilizing the club the better.

The Club is a strategic extension of General Growth’s email marketing platform, The Club, and offers the similar value to on-the-go consumers and consumers that prefer to receive opt-in messages to their mobile phones versus email.

Who is the target?
Early adopters of The Club Mobile cross all demographic groups and comprise age groups 13-65.

Both male and female audiences have expressed significant interest and are representative of our subscriber base. Retail brands across categories will express an interest in learning more about the database.

Can we be sure it’s the nation’s first mall-based mobile ad network?
There are several SMS services out there within the retail space, but none to our knowledge that were launched on a nationwide basis among so many malls all at once.

This program is also unique in that it is driven by consumer-controlled preferences and data and analytics decisions to ensure consumers receive only the most relevant offers, and according to their opt-in rules they establish.

This program is larger than just one brand. It is a media network that many brands can choose to participate in based upon their unique marketing needs from national to local.

Why text messages to mall-goers? Any research backing receptivity to such messages?
Retail has always strived to find channels to get one-on-one with customers.

It’s also an industry that stands to really benefit from strategic applications, and on a larger, more macro scale, of mobile marketing.

Getting an offer in the consumer’s hands in that last mile to the sale and getting them in-store is happening today across the mobile and retail spectrum, and in highly successful ways.

Many brands are seeing success with mobile, but in some cases just cannot grow their lists large enough to really move the needle.

The Club Mobile, for retail brands, will really complement the brands’ existing mobile marketing programs and add another layer of micro-targeted activity to the mix.

Significant research was tapped to gauge consumer receptivity to mobile marketing messages within retail, and as long as consumers are in control – how often they get messages, what types of messages they receive and easy opt-out process – very positive feedback was found.

The Mobile Marketing Association’s research indicates approximately one in 10 U.S. consumers are highly interested in mobile marketing, and that is underscored among youth audiences and related to offers and coupons. Both play strongly to General Growth’s program.

When will those who register to The Club Mobile get the text offers?
The maximum number of offers that a consumer will receive is eight per month, or two times per week.

Can mobile help mall retailers? What can mobile offer that other channels don’t?
Yes, we believe it can enhance retailers’ existing mobile marketing efforts and more.

Mobile provides a powerful and efficient one-on-one communication channel for retailers to reach a specified customer base.

Mobile experiences incredibly high open and read rates that result in significant response rates. It also enables retail brands to continue to adapt for efficient and green marketing practices – accountable to ROI and the environment.

Kroger Offers Mobile Coupons Nationally March 9, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile.
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As someone who has worked within the mobile industry, I have been fascinated to watch the continuing evolution of wireless technology applications. I have long felt that the wireless equipment manufacturers and retailers have not been doing a very good job of educating consumers about the applications available, how to utilize the applications, and how the applications can benefit them. I’m a strong believer that in the not very distant future our cell phones will be as useful to us as our laptop computers in that they will have all sorts of software on them that we use as part of our everyday lives. Today, this is simply not the case; while consumers are purchasing increasingly high-function cellphone devices, most have no idea how to use that functionality.

However, at long last a major national grocery retailer is making available a mobile coupon program and since everyone needs groceries, I believe if enough people find out about the program it can go a long way toward increasing the awareness of consumers on this convenient, useful application for their cellphones. In the following link you can read about Kroger’s new mobile coupon program. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/2417.html

Once I read the article, I decided to try it out to see how well it worked and I have to say, I was quite impressed! It took about a minute and a half to register for the program, about 30 seconds to download the software into my phone, another 10 seconds to register my Kroger card into the program, and VOILA! I began receiving coupons that were valid in my zip code! I then scrolled thru the offers, selected those I wanted and opted to save them. Once saved, they were automatically loaded onto my Kroger card and I saw photos of the product selected on my phone. Now when I go to the grocery store this weekend and purchase those products, the discount coupons will automatically register from my Kroger card as I am checking out! In this economy where every penny counts, what could be easier?

As you read this article, do yourself a favor and start thinking of ways that your company might be able to start utilizing mobile technology to your advantage – and your customers!

For additional information on Mobile Marketing, or to learn how we can help you develop a Mobile Marketing campaign for your firm, please contact us via our website or email us at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com