opinion

Localization, Loyalty Maximize Mobile Marketing

Stephen Yagielowicz

Two growing trends are adding real value to the mobile marketing chain, specifically, localization and loyalty; with the former focusing on serving audiences at their source and the latter focused on retaining these customers going forward.

Let’s take a closer look.

The most successful mobile programs rely on one of three things to initiate customer engagement: they drive value, they drive convenience, or they elevate a customer’s status in a visible and meaningful way. -Matt Howland, TIBCO Loyalty Lab

According to Retailigence CEO Jeremy Geiger, consumer brands need a localized mobile marketing strategy if they are to be competitive today. Geiger cites U.S. census data revealing that 75 percent of consumer spending occurs within 15 miles of home, while Forrester Research shows 90 percent of sales occur in brick-and-mortar stores and that half of those in-store sales had been influenced by online marketing and promotions.

It is the classic “try it at BestBuy but buy it cheaper online” model turned on its head, where consumers research a product online but make their purchase from a local vendor.

“The opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers to leverage online channels to drive more sales locally are clear, but what about brand manufacturers?” Geiger asks. “Consumer brand manufacturers depend on brick-and-mortar retailers for the majority of their sales, yet without having a physical location themselves, how do these marketers capture a greater share of in-store revenue where the vast majority of consumer purchases are made?”

It is a question being asked by adult novelty manufacturers among other companies. According to Forrester Research and Shop.org, more than 91 percent of retailers have a mobile strategy in place, because today’s consumers remain connected to smartphones and tablets wherever they may go; so retailers are targeting ads to mobile shoppers that are physically near the advertiser’s retail store. This doesn’t mean that location-based ads are only relevant to brick-and-mortar retailers or local service based businesses, however.

Geiger says access to product inventory completes the path to purchase for consumer brands and has been the missing link to optimizing the mobile purchasing process; where the alternative is ordering online, or phoning stores to ask if the item you seek is in stock.

“Combining product inventory data with location-based mobile ads creates motivation for consumers to truly engage not only with clicks, but also with physical movement along the path to purchase, benefitting the shopper, the brand and the local retailer,” Geiger explains. “So how does product inventory get integrated into marketing programs? This is where technology comes in.”

For example, mobile marketing platforms now integrate with retail inventory systems, enabling hyperlocal advertising based on real-time availability. Providing this frictionless path to purchase for consumers, Geiger says, is a win for brands, retailers and consumers.

“Brands benefit from increased local awareness of their existing and new products combined with product availability data that motivates consumers to engage and become customers,” Geiger advises.

The message for marketers is clear: develop a local marketing strategy or risk falling behind your competitors.

Once you have the customer, developing loyalty to keep him or her is the next step.

According to TIBCO Loyalty Lab’s Matt Howland, we’re deep in a world of mobile dominance, and an effective strategy to capitalize on this market needs to be the first weapon in any modern marketing arsenal.

“The mobile device opens up an unparalleled window into your customers’ lives,” Howland wrote for Forbes. “The value of this information cannot be overstated: if you can utilize mobile’s unprecedented opportunities for customer engagement properly, you have the opportunity to turn your customers into fans.”

Howland says that the most successful mobile programs rely on one of three things to initiate customer engagement: they drive value, they drive convenience, or they elevate a customer’s status in a visible and meaningful way.

“Ultimately, mobile gives us the opportunity to rethink engagement, redefine the experience, and rediscover the relationship with our customers. However, when entering the mobile game, it is key to remember that loyalty marketing is centered around building trust,” Howland explains. “When this balance is maintained, mobile allows your conversations with your customers to be both interactive and engaging.”

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