Experts Offer Strategies On How Retailers Can Crack The Code On Mobile Marketing

After seeing coupon redemption rates of 50% in its initial 12 test stores, Subway Restaurants recently expanded its “My Subway Mobile” campaign to more than 100 locations. The chain is now offering a dozen different promotional offers to more than 5,500 customers through the program, which is managed using a service from Modiv Media.

In another recent indication of the power of mobile marketing, Papa John’s Pizza recent Super Bowl campaign, “TEXTRA Points for Pizza,” drew over 115,000 registrants who were looking to score super discounts on pizza based on the final outcome of the big game.

subway.jpgWhile many of the early success stories around mobile marketing have been in the QSR sector, industry analysts suggest there are significant opportunities for other retailers to get in on the mobile action.

 “The possibilities for mobile marketing are endless,” says Brad Beasley, president of CrossLink Media, a mobile marketing company offering both messaging and Bluetooth ad-serving software. MessageLink, the company’s proprietary messaging system, executes mobile campaigns via a secure online interface that enables clients to log in and create, modify, and deploy within minutes.

In addition, MessageLink provides a fully automated CRM solution offering additional information and request follow-up communication. “MessageLink provides a great CRM tool as clients now have immediate interaction with their mobile database and can reach these customers anytime, anywhere via the consumer’s most personal device – the wireless phone,” says Beasley.


MessageLink also controls CrossLink’s “Txt 2 Buy” feature that enables consumers to purchase products directly from their wireless phone and makes every advertisement and communication with the consumer an immediate point-of-sale opportunity.  With Txt 2 Buy, consumers don’t need to wait until they get online to place an order, nor do they have to wait on the phone for an operator to complete the order.

Beasley says the highlights of mobile marketing include the following potential payoffs for retailers:

Ø    1-to-1 interaction with consumers vs. mass communication

Ø    Measurable results

Ø    Increased store traffic

Ø    Increased impulse buys

Ø    24 x7 x 365 access

Ø    Ability to reach only those customers who have specifically asked to receive your offers.  No more wasted advertising


Andy Nulman, CMO of Airborne Entertainment, a mobile marketing company that’s worked with major brands such as Taco Bell, Maxim Magazine, and the NHL, agrees there is a big opportunity for retailers to cash in on the immediacy that the mobile medium provides.“It’s not about technology, it’s about people. People are interested in finding deals. Mobile marketing is just getting off the ground…the time is right now.” Nulman builds his case for mobile marketing around the acronym NOW, pointing to the following strategies:

Nearby: “Customers need to be in your radius, close, local. Shoppers aren’t traveling very far for a pair of jeans.”

Only: “There has to be a limit. Create a sense of urgency for your campaign. Establish a relationship to create an addicted customer.”

Wow: “Make a compelling offer. Make consumers opt in for select communication. You want them to come sporadically.”

A few of the key benefits of mobile marketing Nulman points to include the local drawing power of mobile media and the urgency that is created by text messages. “It is also dynamic so that you can take action when you need to. Do you have an empty store? Do something about it,” Nulman says. He offers the following 5 strategies retailers can employ to take advantage of the rapid growth of mobile marketing:

1.     The NOW Psst: “Limited time offers, but they need to be engaging and special. Target people near your location. The Secret Sale: Things like in-store sales, or special offers. Having consumers text to a special number will provide them with a message/discount/coupon. It’s completely opt-in and there are no paper costs.”

2.     Random Discounts: “For instance, have promos that allow consumers to text for specific discounts, coupon codes, etc.”

3.     The In-store Experience: “Give the customer control of what they want. Get them additional information like the back-story on products. When you make products more people-oriented, like Gap’s Red campaign, it becomes personal, and people will want to buy. Let consumers feel like they have the inside scoop.”

4.     The Countdown: “Let the shoppers know that time is running out to save. Text alerts like ‘Only ten pairs left’ with an image of the product. And do so whenever there’s a new number to report. This creates urgency and keeps the customer’s mind on the store.”

5.     Develop WAP Sites: Create a mini website for people to view on their phone. Keep it simple with your company logo and plain text. This lets people know what’s going on in your store.”

Another point of value in the mobile phone is its capability to increase customer loyalty.  Dustin Young, Vice President of Emerging Technologies at InComm, a leading distributor of stored-value gift and prepaid products with over 145,000 retailers, says there are three points of true value in utilizing the mobile phone as a CRM tool:

·         Provide the retailer with a cost effective channel;

·         Provide the consumer with a user-friendly way of accessing unique offers, like an abbreviated dial code;

·         The ability of the merchant to tie coupons to existing vehicles of POS code

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