Mobile marketing stopped being optional a long time ago, at least for companies that want to increase their sales and provide customers with an omni-channel buying experience. As a result, mobile marketing has become more proactive about targeting customers — sometimes a bit too aggressively. There is a fine line between communicating with customers and annoying them, and while endeavoring to learn just what their customers want, some companies have crossed that line.
However, new advances in technology can help marketers reach their target audience and learn what customers want without being overly intrusive. There are currently a number of mobile marketing strategies to help fill the bill, and the near future holds the promise for additional devices that are ideally suited for mobile marketing.
One of the most under-utilized technologies for mobile marketing involves the use of iBeacons. These devices are strategically placed in stores or shopping malls. When a shopper’s cell phone comes within range, the beacons can transmit discount coupons, notify the shopper of a special sale or otherwise capitalize on the shopper’s proximity to the store.
Location finders work in a similar manner to iBeacons, but the range can be much greater. For example, suppose three shoe stores are located within a single mall. When a customer who has previously shopped at Store A enters Store B or C, Store A can send a discount coupon to the customer, offering the greatest savings for the speediest response. This encourages the customer to leave the competitor’s store quickly and rush to Store A to secure the greatest savings.
Wearable tech is already available, but it should probably be viewed as a future (rather than current) mobile marketing strategy. However, the demand for the product is expected to grow substantially over the next few years, so laying a foundation to utilize it properly has been becoming more common. Suppose the manufacturer of a running shoe included a sensor that could monitor use, then send a message to the owner’s cell phone that the shoes would soon need to be replaced — along with a mobile coupon offering a discount on a replacement pair.
Affective computing is still very much in the development stage, but many technology experts believe it could be a reality within the next decade. Software interprets the user’s emotions, based on specific clues. For example, a user typing a Facebook update announcing a relationship breakup might show emotional stress through typing speed or long pauses between words. Retailers could use the information to send mobile coupons for “comfort foods” or an online movie rental, promote a singles mixer or promote an online dating site.
There is a great deal of information available in cyberspace, and in the future, it will be possible for marketers to consolidate the data and use it to predict intent — at least to some degree. For example, a Facebook user resides in New York but lists a hometown in Texas. His mother is his “friend” on Facebook and lists her birthday. When software detects that the user’s cell phone is nearing his hometown the day before his mother’s birthday, it would be a fairly safe assumption that he plans to celebrate the occasion with her. Marketers could send a discount offer for a local bakery specializing in birthday cakes, and if Mom “liked” a local restaurant, the son could also receive a special offer from the restaurant.
No matter how advanced technology becomes or how much data can be collected on customers, marketing efforts will have limited success without an understanding of current and potential customers’ needs and wants. Careful analysis of customer demographics is necessary to utilize mobile marketing strategies effectively. For example, tech-savvy millennials often prefer useful apps rather than loyalty programs, while older customers who do not use many apps might prefer discount offers. If you need guidance on the best practices for mobile marketing, the expert teams at EX Squared Solutions are ready to help.