Written by Kristen Gramigna
The mobile channel has become a highly targeted environment in today’s interconnected world. What began as simple text message campaigns with offers and coupons have evolved. Mobile marketing has become a convertible, time sensitive, personalized content delivery system. It is now essential to create an entire plan dedicated to delivering effective mobile marketing, and marketers are constantly looking to the future for an advantage over the competition.
Enter location-based services.
With modern mobile marketing, marketers have an array of weapons — text messages, multimedia messages, push notifications, apps and mobile websites — to tell their story within the mobile channel. Through technological advancements, marketers can choose what weapon to use, precisely when they’ll use it, and the content with which to arm their weapon of choice. They can then strike in the pocket of consumers, directly to their smartphones or tablets.
In existing mobile marketing strategies, marketers have been utilizing event-triggered notifications. For example, customers who have downloaded the retailer’s app receive a notification in the event of a sale or upon making a purchase. Customers who have subscribed to a mailing list receive text messages with coupons, vouchers or notification of sales. Location-based services, made possible by the GPS capabilities inherent in smartphones and tablet computers, have added another strategy to this attack. The ability to trigger a message to send based on a customer’s proximity to a spot.
According to a 2013 comScore survey that analyzed opinions on computer, smartphone and tablet shopping, 47 percent of shoppers said that they are in favor of a retailer sending a coupon to their smartphone when they are in the vicinity of said retailer’s store. With these numbers in mind, a location-triggered text message with a coupon, or a push notification from an app that lets the customer know of your brick-and-mortar location becomes a way to draw customers into a store besides having a sale.
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With a marriage of location-based services and the various weapons of mobile marketing, marketers get high-quality, automated content. This falls in line with the idea of giving customers the best possible all-around experience, as the content that’s delivered is contextually and geographically relevant, personalized and delivered at the opportune time.
With location-based notifications, not only are your customers being drawn into the store, but you also indirectly combat the trend of “showrooming.” “Showrooming,” a common pain in the neck of many brick-and-mortar retailers, occurs when customers come to a store simply to view and try out products, intending all along to purchase them online. A coupon, voucher or other creative incentive delivered to the mobile devices of these customers is a powerful thing, one that could lead to a purchase on the spot.
On top of notifications, location-based services have created more possibilities within “geomarketing” — the integration of geographical intelligence into various aspects of marketing — that weren’t previously possible. Integration into mobile commerce and mobile applications has made tracking and predicting consumer behavior easier, and has helped marketers successfully segment and target the proper audiences.
A strategy that fully integrates geomarketing, from outbound marketing to sales and distribution, offers even more benefits. Geomarketing software can create a digital map of your customers, and makes the leveraging of purchasing trends, demographic data and other valuable information easier, especially in terms of your mobile marketing strategy.
With the present benefits location-based services provide, it seems fairly straightforward. However, it’s possible to do too much. As with any method involved in a mobile marketing strategy, location-based notifications should be used in moderation as to not overwhelm the customers. It is essential that smartphone users be able to turn off the notifications from an app if they do not wish to receive them. Most smartphone users keep tens or even hundreds of apps on their phone, and apps that send a large number of unwanted notifications are usually the first to be deleted.
Wise marketers give the consumer the opportunity to easily opt out of any text message list they have subscribed to. No one wants to receive notifications during the night or at other inconvenient times; likewise, no one wants a location-based notification if the store is closed. It seems silly, but a frustrated customer is an unhappy customer. Sending out irrelevant and annoying notifications brings the risk of losing a subscriber, having an app deleted or losing that customer’s business altogether.
A final point to think about: It would be easy to allow the convenience and technology of mobile marketing to eclipse the content of your message. For mobile marketing to be effective, it still needs to tell a compelling story, reasonably and personably, just like any other form of marketing.
With location-based services, a savvy marketer can reach out and bring customers into a brick-and-mortar when they’re walking by, all by programming a simple notification. The savviest of marketers has leveraged the right information and can program a notification to reach out, tell an enthralling story, pull the perfect customers in and sell them exactly what they’ve been wanting. It’s all made possible with smartphones, tablets, GPS technology and location-based services. The next time you’re walking down the street or through the mall, you’d better check your phone.
About the author
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, which helps businesses of all sizes accept credit cards. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.