Transactional Marketing is the Future of Advertising
Gone are the days of cheesy banner ads and flashy display ads, where clicks only happened by pure accident. Consumers have become immune to these digital billboards, and advertisers are scrambling to find new ways to get their attention.
These days, if you want consumers to even notice your ad, you need to deliver something of value — content that provides utility, not interruption. This is where transactional marketing comes into play.
Taking an Action-Driven Approach
Transactional marketing focuses on digital-to-in-person conversions through the use of call-to-action methods such as coupons, referral programs, offers and mobile lead generation.
Action is key here, whether the desired action is referring a friend to something you think she might like or remembering an event that's taking place at Sephora. Transactional advertisements should provide helpful suggestions on finding the best deal or aid a consumer in finding the nearest location that carries a particular product or service.
The Future of Transactional Marketing
Transactional marketing is the natural result of increased mobile use and native advertising, and is meant to convert mobile shoppers at the right place and the right time through engaging, helpful content.
There's already a mound of evidence proving mobile's ability to convert and native advertising's ability to drive digital media. Right now, four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop, while native social advertising is expected to grow from a $1.6 billion industry in 2012 to a $4.6 billion industry by 2017.
Transactional marketing has the ability to combine these two trends to induce consumer action, allowing retailers to use the context of native advertising to deliver content that makes sense on a mobile device.
Tactics That Drive Transactions
You might already understand mobile, but transactional marketing is a whole other ball game that requires marketers to implement different (and sometimes unconventional) tactics to truly capitalize on the transaction-linked advertising boom. Below are four tactics retailers should explore:
1. Implement credit card-linked offers. Using services like CardSpring, retailers can engage consumers on social media with deals and offers they can take advantage of right then and there.
2. Target consumers further down the purchase funnel. Mobile is a great tool for lead generation, but too many ads don't convert because marketers don't understand the mobile "moment of truth." This is a short window of opportunity in the purchase funnel where a successful conversion often depends on whether a consumer can easily find the nearest store location or the right phone number to call.
3. Personalize advertisements. Retailers need to use whatever data they have available to add context to mobile ads. That could be limited to location now, but in the future additional information, including purchase history and social data, will be available.
4. Integrate in-store locations in e-commerce. Use consumers’ love of "webrooming" to your advantage through transactional marketing. For example, place a "try it on" button next to a blouse, which would then link the shopper to the nearest store that sells that blouse.
Living in a Mobile World
The rise of mobile is fundamentally transforming the internet. By 2016, Deloitte estimates that $689 billion in sales will be influenced by mobile — more than double the desktop e-commerce equivalent. With this type of opportunity, brands need to focus on creating content that interests mobile users who have little time — or patience — for irrelevant ads.
With a strong focus on converting mobile users into physical customers, transactional marketing creates an ideal situation for brands and consumers alike: a seamless shopping experience that guides a customer to her unique point of purchase every step of the way.
Anthony Nicalo is the CEO of Dónde, a tool for marketers that drives retail sales by connecting mobile users looking to buy with retail locations through contextual ads, coupons and other offers. Anthony can be reached on LinkedIn.
Anthony Nicalo is the VP Platform at Mobify, a mobile customer-engagement platform that facilitates all of a retailer’s real-time interactions with its mobile customers in one place. Nicalo guides and grows the platform capabilities for serving mobile marketing and extends the platform ecosystem through partnerships. Nicalo is a thought leader in digital marketing, an expert in omnichannel commerce, and a frequent presenter on the future of commerce, mobile retailing, and shopper marketing, including at Shopper Marketing Expo, iMedia Summits and Kantar Retail.