What today’s biggest brands can teach you about mobile marketing best practices.
If you aren’t yet convinced that mobile marketing yields a significant ROI, consider this fact: a recent comScore survey from January 2014 shows that “Americans spent 46.6% of their total internet time with mobile apps, compared to roughly 45.1% spent accessing the internet from a desktop and the remaining 8.3% using mobile browsers.”
For the first time ever, mobile application use is now outranking computer usage. So, what does this mean for mobile marketing best practices? How can you develop and execute effective marketing campaigns that align to this cultural shift? Below, we explain four different mobile marketing tactics, give you examples of other companies’ accomplishments with those campaigns, and provide a few tips to executing them successfully.
Text, SMS or media messaging is a smart start for businesses looking to break into mobile marketing. While P2P (Person to Person) messaging might work well for small businesses, large businesses should consider investing in A2P (Application to Person) messaging systems. It only takes seven seconds to send a text message, regardless of whether there is one recipient or one thousand.
For two years, Bed, Bath & Beyond has been rapidly expanding their SMS subscriber list with in-store signage. Signs around their store ask customers to text a number with the word “OFFER” and customers receive a mobile coupon for 20% off one item. BBB is famous for their 20% off direct mail coupons every month. In mobile, they carry the same monthly promotional schedule.
Mobile Messaging Best Practices:
Only send notifications or offers to consumers who have granted your company permission to send them messages.
Be time sensitive when sending mobile messages. Upon sign up, offer options for message delivery at various hours throughout the day. Engage your customers, don’t intrude on them.
Another way to reach consumers is through applications used on phones and tablets. As Americans rely on mobile applications more heavily than desktop applications, it is the perfect time to shift focus onto the creation of brand-specific apps. While there is a cost involved with creating and maintaining the software, the results yield more active consumers.
Target’s saving-specific application Cartwheel has been a big hit with consumers. According to Trefis, “Since its inception, more than 5 million users have signed up for the app and saved over $43 million.” Target’s sales have increased due to customer satisfaction, and increased spending on items they might not have purchased, but chose to because of the Cartwheel discount. Cartwheel has had its share of UI tweaks, ending in a simple, easy to use application, complete with barcode scanner so that consumers can scan everything they put into their cart and add coupons automatically.
Mobile Application Best Practices:
Applications need to be dynamic, robust and easy to use. Make sure your IT team is frequently checking for bugs within the software and pushing out updates.
For retailers, consider including Wi-Fi in-house so consumers can have quicker, more responsive application.
Social Media Applications
Mobile applications do not need to be built specifically for your company; taking advantage of current social media mobile applications can be just as important. Consider creating a separate customer service handle to address concerns of consumers from each social media outlet.
During the 2014 Super Bowl, JCPenney sent drunk-sounding tweets to then reveal a “tweeting-with-gloves” picture, calling attention to their new USA gloves for the Sochi Olympics. Reviews of the stunt were mixed, but this type of conversation-led marketing brought fun, positive attention to the retail store.
Social Media Application Best Practices:
Mobile websites must be formatted in an aesthetically pleasing, functional way so people on their cell phones, tablets and computers can use the website easily.
Timely responsiveness to consumers’ concerns will lead to a more personal approach and happier customers, allowing a chance for a positive review.
While QR codes are usually a mixed-media marketing technique, including a code on products, advertisements and business cards can link prospects to learn more about your company. Google has just implemented QR code reading technology into their Google Glass technology, showing that the success of businesses using them is still worth building towards. QR codes can also enhance the experience of the end user.
L’Oreal has always bought ads in print, on billboards, bus stops and taxis. They’ve been particularly successful adding QR codes to their advertisements, which lead QR-snappers to L’Oreal mobile apps. L’Oreal claims QR codes have increased sales by 7% and increased app downloads by 80%. L’Oreal has used QR codes many times to promote new products and have created new apps for things as simple as helping women choose their hair color.
QR Code Best Practices:
- Make sure your content links directly to what you promised the consumer. Downloading the QR code app is enough work on their part. They shouldn’t have to put in much effort to learn about your company or campaigns.
- Never use consumer data supplied to you by QR code campaigns, such as mailing addresses, without outright permission from the consumer.
- Give the consumer a call-to-action once they’ve landed wherever your QR code brings them.
As the cultural shift continues to change the online landscape, consider these four mobile marketing tools and best practices as you begin to write your own success story.
What are some best practices you’ve come across? What are do you like to engage in mobile as a consumer? Tell us in the comments below.
Amanda MacArthur is a guest contributor with expertise in retail, CPGs, branding, and digital marketing. Check out Amanda’s Google+.