Marketing to Customers on the Move: Tips and Tools for Retailers

“It is important to think what mobile can do for your brand rather than what brand can do on mobile.”

Those were the wise words from Shaveta Bhardwaj, senior exec at marketing intelligence agency Kantar Millward Brown, at last year’s Mobile Marketing Association ‘Smarties’ awards ceremony – and it provides sound advice for retailers and hospitality brands looking to build out their strategies. In essence, the message here is use the technology to its greatest potential.

This is the Way Retailers Can Market to Customers on the Move
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So, what are mobile technology’s main strengths when it comes to marketing – and how are businesses already driving significant benefits from it? Let’s take a look.

Mobile Marketing is in the Moment

If you hear any retail executive speak these days, the chances are they will say they are looking to build a strategy to serve customers whenever, and wherever they are – that’s the omnichannel way, and increasingly it involves mobile because these devices tend to be in people’s hands.

Mobile marketing using geo-fencing technology has the ability to get your brand’s message into your customers’ hands at the most relevant times, acting as a trigger point to conversion. Many brands are talking about reaching a one-to-one communication level with their customers, and mobile supports this move.

In a recent interview with UK title Internet Retailing, Matthew Gaunt, customer communications director at DIY retailer Wickes, says “relevance is absolutely critical” otherwise shoppers simply fall by the wayside and they lose interest. Mobile marketing, though, can get an offer – be it a digital coupon or an emailed money-off voucher – into a customer’s hands when they are in the most suitable shop and ready to spend, which can do wonders for a marketing team’s conversion stats.

Wrapping up marketing into mobile, means there will be no need for shoppers to carry paper or plastic cards or cut coupons, because redemption is completed by scanning barcodes on their phones. That’s surely a case of achieving the ultimate aim of today’s retailers to be with shoppers whenever and wherever they are, while also giving consumers some real convenient benefits in the process.

Mobile Marketing Gathers the Data

As my colleague Kamal recently blogged on these pages, using digital coupons as part of a multifaceted mobile marketing strategy enables businesses to track redemptions both in-store and online. It gives them visibility of their customers.

This is rich data as far as retailers and hospitality firms are concerned because it gives them all-important information about consumer behaviour, which can be leveraged for future business optimisation and planning. The more connections retailers can make between the digital and physical channels their customers shop on, the better they can shape their proposition accordingly.

Mobile Marketing for Maximum Engagement

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) statistics provide a view of the wider picture. And it all points towards mobile being at the heart of consumer communication and general advertising.

Mobile now accounts for nearly two-thirds (63%) of all digital ad revenue in the US, according to the IAB’s research for the first half of 2018, and it continues to be the internet’s leading ad platform – it’s up from 54% of total revenues year on year. The study also found that advertisers spent $30.9 billion on mobile media during the period, so businesses must be reaping the benefits of this approach.

I started this blog with a quote, and it seems fitting to finish with another one. This time from Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the IAB, who reiterates the importance of digital advertising and digital communication, in whatever guise, saying it is “one of the most powerful mechanisms of all time for brands to build relationships with consumers”.

He added: “It’s a truth upon which direct-to-consumer brands have built their businesses, and from which all businesses can benefit.” Retailers and hospitality firms might just want to take note.

Click to view iVend Retail’s comprehensive whitepaper for all the nuts and bolts needed to build a multi-purpose mobile marketing strategy

Executive Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances for CitiXsys, Paula Da Silva has more than 25 years of experience in information technology. Since 2006, Paula has been instrumental in building iVend Retail into a global market leader in the retail industry and currently spearheads the recruitment of channel partners to expand iVend Retail’s worldwide footprint. As a thought leader she has authored multiple online articles for publications like Apparel, Retail Touchpoints, Total Retail, RIS News and Multichannel Merchant. Frequently invited to speak, she’s made appearances at Retail Now, The Australian Retailer Association and at Sage Partner Community events. Paula’s passion for retail extends to her personal life where she has made shopping an artform, visiting premier shopping destinations around the globe from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Paula Da Silva