As 2017 approaches, marketers are finalizing their strategies and budgets for next year. Mobile marketing this year has included augmented reality (Pokémon Go), artificial intelligence, chatbots, mobile video and location-based marketing, to name a few. So what's next to win market share from competitors and boost customer engagement?
Innovating Coupon Delivery
Retail marketers will be focusing on coupon delivery in 2017. Studies have shown that 40 percent of consumers don't make a purchase simply because they left their coupon at home. Mobile-enabled coupon delivery eliminates this problem. In fact, many consumers say that mobile coupon programs actually motivate them to make purchases more often. In fact, mobile coupons have increased redemption as much as 10 times over print-at-home counterparts.
Mobilizing coupon programs is essential to capturing the millennial consumer, who is reluctant to clip paper coupons. With millennials projected to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017, winning this demographic is crucial to any retailer’s strategy.
The Adoption of Mobile Wallet
Although still relatively nascent, mobile wallet as both a payment option and marketing tool is gaining traction quickly and will continue to grow in 2017 as more consumers become comfortable with the technology and recognize its convenience.
Mobile wallet marketing allows a brand’s perpetual presence on the consumer’s device, either via downloaded coupons or the digitization of loyalty cards. Mobile wallet also enables location detection in order to send consumers messages at the exact moment of relevance. Brands that have been early adopters of this technology are reaping the benefits, including increased foot traffic and sales.
Developing an ‘App Plus’ Strategy
Apps remain a key component of a retailer’s strategy, but brands can’t ignore the fact that 80 percent of app engagement revolves around only five apps. While apps engage loyalists, a broader strategy is needed to reach and communicate with those customers that will not download the app.
There are a few ways brands are intersecting their app strategy with more universal channels. For example, SMS messaging is being implemented as a way to complement brand app strategies. Considering that nearly all of today’s phones have the capability to send and receive text messages and that 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes of receipt, SMS continues to be the most ubiquitous and engaging channel at a marketer’s disposal.
Supplementing a brand’s app strategy with SMS and mobile wallet features are great ways to reach beyond app engagement. While it may be ideal to have all consumers download and engage with an app, the reality is that additional technologies are necessary to reach a majority of consumers.
Where Marketers Remain Challenged
For many brands, limited IT skill sets and integration resources pose major road blocks preventing them from implementing new mobile marketing strategies. Twenty-six percent of marketers in a recent survey said that available IT resources will most likely prevent them from making more investments in mobile in 2017, while 17 percent cited budget constraints. As the consumer’s appetite for mobile experiences continues to outpace brands’ ability to deliver, this road block will become critical to dissolve.
How to Get Started
The best way for brands to position themselves with these new mobile trends is to test and learn. Measure everything and see what resonates with your customer. Start small, in a few stores or a single geographic area.
Mobile wallet coupons work with existing coupons and can be delivered through any channel a retailer may use — email, digital ads, social media — making for a simple way to start without adding constraints on valuable IT resources.
Simple mobile presence is another good place to start, as it offers the benefit of rich, real-time data to enable campaign modifications nearly “on the fly.” There are many ways to get a mobile program up and running quickly, so don’t sit on the sidelines and let your competition pass you by. Having even a small mobile presence is better than having none at all.
Margie Kupfer is vice president, marketing at 3Cinteractive, a mobile marketing services provider.