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Mobile Marketing: The Next Frontier In Loyalty Programs

09.28.2013
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Today, smartphones have become ubiquitous in the marketplace—in fact, a survey by Intel Corporation indicated that 77 percent of people are more nervous about losing their smartphone than their wedding ring. With more than 100 million smartphones in the US, mobile marketing is quickly becoming the next stage to generate customer loyalty and increase your companies bottom-line.

Meet Your Customers Where They Are

A business that sells beachwear is probably unlikely to open a shop in the Midwest, and the same is true for mobile marketing. In order to have an effective mobile campaign, you need to be where your customers are, and interact with them in meaningful ways.

For example, if your primary target audience is a younger audience that uses smartphones primarily for texting and gaming, an effective mobile customer loyalty platform could be implemented by sending text messages with specials whenever the customer is in the vicinity of your store, or a game that customers play in order for a chance to win prizes.

Offer Deals that Matter

Whether it’s a social media deal, a mobile marketing deal, or a traditional promotion, the most effective loyalty marketing campaigns are those where the value of the program is readily apparent to the customers. If your average customer spends $20 per transaction, offering a text message deal that is only available when you spend $200 is of little value to the majority of your clients, and will likely go unredeemed. In fact, if you continue to offer deals that do not matter to your client, you may find that they disengage from your company by opting out of text messages or other mobile promotions.

Use the Data You Have

One tremendous benefit of today’s mobile and technology-driven world is the amount of data available to your company. Properly implementing a mobile marketing platform can provide you with invaluable insight into how and where your customers are shopping, how much they spend, and when they spend it. This information can help you tailor perfectly timed pitches to your clients that are most likely to generate sales. For example, if you run an ice cream shop and discover that your clients are 50% more likely to redeem an ice cream promotion between 2:30-5:30 p.m., you can avoid wasting time and money sending out messages in the morning, instead reserving your deals for when customers most want them.

Make it Easy

As is the case with any loyalty program, making customer jump through hoops in order to redeem a deal with be frustrating and confusing, and instead of generating more sales, can actually drive customers away from your business. 

For example, companies that send out email deals and require customers to print out the coupon could be losing out on potential sales. A customer who checks the deal on his or her smartphone while they are out shopping may be inclined to redeem the coupon, but if the store makes it difficult by requiring a printed copy of the coupon, the customer will either forget or decide it’s not worth the hassle of finding a printer, printing the coupon, and making the trip back to the store.  Instead, make your deals easy to redeem, simply by showing the text or email message, or using a special code included in the message. 

Developing a strategy for mobile marketing can be a tremendous benefit to your company in terms of building loyalty and driving sales. If your customers are already out shopping, mobile marketing programs can get your business in front of the customer reminding them to come and shop with you.

Sarah Trell is a recent college graduate and regular contributor to the Pro Intern where she covers digital marketing, eCommerce, and media.

Published at DZone with permission of Paul Andrews, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)