2016 is almost upon us and that means it is time to look forward to a new year of mobile marketing trends – from SMS solutions and apps to mobile commerce and beyond.
“Mobile and tablet commerce will hit $142 billion in the U.S. and $92 billion in the European Union, representing 38 percent and 32 percent of online transactions, respectively” (Forrester Research).
Mobile commerce is booming and it is never too early to start developing your mobile marketing plan – especially if you have online sales. We’re in the home stretch of 2015, so it’s the time of year when many CMOs and Marketing Directors start looking into the mobile marketing trends for the new year. We’ve done some of the leg work for you already, and here’s a closer look at the mobile commerce side of the story…
Creative Mobile Marketing Content
Mobile marketing is predicted to be a huge part of digital marketing in 2016, according to Forbes. With the increased competition in the mobile marketing landscape, it’s important to set yourself apart from your competitors with unique mobile content. Make the most out of your campaigns by thinking beyond the user story or path you already know – engage with personalized stories and creative drivers.
Turn a SMS dialog campaign into a mystery as DoSomething.org did this year. Their partnership with 3M has supported the growth of the organization while creating a viral social good story. When the consumer feels good about your story, what you’re doing in the world, or how they are connected to it, it’s easier to engage on a mobile device and make a purchase (or donation).
Mobile Coupons Are King
A SMS coupon campaign continues to be a top way of offering incentives to your customers. While digital wallets are still finding their way in the world, mobile coupons are steadily growing in adoption. “By 2016, 44.5% of marketers are expected to use mobile coupons and 40% of U.S. smartphone users are predicted to redeem mobile coupons” (Marketing Science Institute). Investing into a well thought out SMS coupon campaign is not only on trend for 2016 but, a smart move in diversifying your mobile marketing mix.
Mobile Commerce Crosses Devices and Spaces
Mobile is predicted to influence spending in brick-and-mortar retailers by $1 trillion. Imagine the foot traffic your store could have by implementing a mobile marketing solution that tracks consumers. A prediction from Juniper Research is that mobile coupon usage will exceed 1 billion users by the year 2019. Even more interesting than the user adoption of mobile coupons is the purchasing path consumers take nowadays. It isn’t as simple as it once appeared to be.
The savviest companies are tracking the consumer journey from in-store to mobile to desktop – across all devices and spaces. Mobile commerce does not stand alone anymore, it is a cross-device and cross-space (physical /digital) experience. “Google finds that companies that use data gathered from tracking consumers across multiple devices experience 16 percent more search ad conversions” (Internet Retailer). These companies are building in-house digital marketing teams to track the purchase path and optimize marketing performance, thus developing a cross-device and cross-space journey map.
Takeaways on Mobile Commerce for 2016:
- Tell a great story in all of your mobile marketing
- Follow the complete consumer journey to their purchase.
mobile commerce, Mobile Marketing
The spookiest time of the year has descended upon on us!
While everyone is busy carving pumpkins, planning costumes, and inhaling candy by the handful, it’s fun to utilize this time for creative marketing with a Halloween themed SMS marketing strategy. Taking the time to plan your Halloween marketing strategy allows you to show customers a silly side while differentiating from stiff competitors. If you’re stuck on what to do, here are a few ideas to help you get started…
Send a Treat to Your Mobile Database
Just because consumers are too old to fill a trick-or-treat bag doesn’t mean that they don’t want a treat of their own. Create a mobile coupon with a special offer to wish your customers a fun and safe Halloween. Saving is fun, after all.
Host a Spooky Contest
Halloween contests can go far beyond scavenger hunts and bobbing for apples. Hosting a text-to-win contest is a fun and easy way to drive customer engagement and get people excited for Halloween. You can apply the contest to the costume contests and scavenger hunts too! Invite participants to take a photo of their best costume and text it in. For a spooky scavenger hunt, consider making it a photo-hunt where folks need to take photos of spooky stuff and text it in each time.
Scary Costumes are a Success for Retail and Restaurants
If you are looking to drive customers into your brick-and-mortar location, have a special for people who show up in costume. The most notable example of a successful costume promotion is Chipotle’s recent campaign. Chipotle offers $3 burritos to customers who show up in a particular themed costume (this year it is costumes with unnecessary additions). Push out an invitation through SMS to your consumer database telling them to stop by your store in costume, and offer a free treat to the kids and a special offer to the parents.
When in Doubt, Freak Them Out
Everyone loves a good scare so send out something for a fun fright. Just make sure it isn’t too scary for your SMS database or else you might have some people opting out. If scary doesn’t fit your particular company image, opt for an alternative with scary situations. A plumbing company, for example, could send out a message like “Imagine you’re home alone in the bathroom…and you run out of toilet paper. Nooo!”
Halloween is a fun time for all and companies shouldn’t miss out on the festivities. Halloween may not be as high spending or revenue generator as Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a good Halloween SMS campaign idea can leave a good impression on your customers. Find the best way to make your company stand out.
And have a happy Halloween!
Holiday Marketing, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Strategy, SMS Marketing
Why do I want to use a SMS Gateway Campaign?
Among the different types of SMS campaigns, the SMS gateway campaign can be the hardest to understand despite the extreme usefulness. SMS gateway campaigns allow companies to use triggered sms alerts based upon chosen parameters (such as appointment date) established by its own internal software (common examples include POS or CRM systems). For example, if your company uses a POS system that tracks certain purchase a customer makes, you can set up a sms gateway campaign to send out a triggered alert to thank a customer for shopping with your business. If a customer has their eye on something in your store, you can have the customer opt-in to be notified with a triggered sms alert when stock of that item is low.
How does the SMS Gateway Campaign on 3Seventy’s Platform Work?
A sms gateway campaign is tough to grasp conceptually but, once seen in action it becomes a little easier to digest. Below is a brief video of how a sms gateway campaign is conducted through 3Seventy’s portal:
Examples of How a SMS Gateway Works in the Real World
SMS gateway campaigns assist both user and receiver on a daily basis. Many apartment complexes will use a sms gateway campaign for mass communication with tenants to notify of package delivery or maintenance visits. You would have to use a gateway rather than a basic SMS campaign because these specific alerts go out at unique times and not all at once. You can set a trigger in your sms gateway campaign to alert the tenant of the specific action that is occurring. More examples include appointment reminders from doctor’s offices, low balance alerts from banks, and internal communications for large organizations like universities.
SMS gateway campaigns are highly useful for a variety of different businesses. It may be scary because it seems complex but, sms gateway campaigns are used so frequently in real life application, they become almost second nature to your mobile marketing.
Mobile Campaigns, Mobile Marketing, SMS Campaigns, SMS Marketing
With such a plethora of options for entertainment, it is important for entertainment venues to make a strong impression with a well developed SMS marketing plan. Here at 3Seventy, we are fortunate enough to work with several clients in the entertainment industry – from bowling and sports to live music and more. In collaboration, we’ve implement smart SMS marketing strategies. Here are some tips on how to incorporate SMS marketing into your entertainment venue business.
1. Make the Most of Your Mobile Club
A great sms database is an effective way to keep customers in the loop about promotions, events, and giveaways. Invite your customers to opt-in by using an incentive, and keep them engaged by scheduling a bi-monthly text message update letting them know about fun things happening at your business and special offers.
2. Keep People Entertained Between Activities
Want to have your guests keep the fun going as they wait their next turn to putt, rock climb, or bowl? Make waiting time a little more fun with interactive text trivia and polls. Create a dialog campaign so that when customers see a question on the digital signage or tv monitors, they can text in the trivia answer and see the results on the screen in real-time.
3. Using SMS to Stay on Schedule
During peak times such as summer vacation, it is important to keep the traffic moving effectively in your entertainment venue. Set up a system where customers can receive an SMS alert with real-time updates about the next available go-kart, bowling lanes, movie showing, etc.
4. Try Out Mobile Coupons
Instead of having people fumble around with cutting out and bringing in paper coupons (and possibly losing them along the way), make the experience easy. When you provide customers the convenience of using mobile coupons via SMS, it increases the redemption rates and drives traffic faster to your venue.
5. From Text Message to Trophy
If your entertainment venue is host to a league or other competition, then consider creating a targeted SMS campaign for that competition. Participants can receive text messages each week with rankings, highlights, and upcoming events/tournaments. Send out a “Congratulations” text message to the entire SMS database too. This can increase customer satisfaction and leave a positive reflection of your venue’s brand with the competition participants.
A day to the rink, arcade, or alley should be nothing but fun for the people who come through your entertainment venue’s doors. You will roll a strike with your SMS marketing strategy when you provide an easy way for customers to engage with you business both in and outside of the times they visit.
entertainment, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Strategy, SMS Marketing, true dialog
It is no secret that everyone texts and everyone loves free stuff. Text-to-win SMS contests are a fun and engaging way to build your company’s mobile club, like Tide did in 2013 by increasing their text subscribers by over 48,000, as well as deepen customer relations by encouraging returning sales. So, just how are SMS contests good for your mobile marketing strategy?
Boost Your Sales with an SMS Contest
SMS Contests are a great way to drive sales by prompting customers to purchase specific items or engage in certain services in exchange for a unique sms code. A good example of this is Kellogg’s text-to-win contest in partnership with MLB. Unique SMS short codes are printed inside specially marked Kellogg’s products with one code being the grand prize winner of a season pack of MLB tickets. These contests can not only increase sales but, push new products. Taco Bell’s Quesarito was introduced in 2014 and to push Quesarito sales this year, Taco Bell is giving away a gold PS4 bundle when customers text sms codes located on their Quesarito Big Boxes.
Ease of Use
A great addition to your mobile marketing mix are SMS contests because it easy for both the business and consumer. From a consumer end, it provides an easy entry. No forms to fill out, no special steps to make. Just text the code to the number and you’re done. From a business perspective, SMS contests are simple to manage and cost effective. Yes, the legality of sweepstakes can be daunting however, once rules are properly constructed, contests are basically set up to run themselves.
Contests provide a nice break from the “BUY, BUY, BUY” feeling that many marketers may create while still driving sales and customer engagement. Whether you wish to push new products, build a stronger customer database, or just increase brand visibility, SMS contests are a fun, easy, and effective way to kill so many birds with one stone.
Mobile Marketing, SMS Campaigns, SMS Marketing
It’s no secret that there are a TON of ways to do marketing. Even once your business selects a marketing strategy, you can still get lost in the endless options of what to do in that particular strategy. However, you are already wise to the amazing benefits of SMS and Mobile marketing. You know that your company can implement a highly effective mobile marketing strategy that can meet your marketing goals. The only thing left to do is sell your wonderful idea to your boss but, how do you go about it?
1. Emphasize How Relevant Mobile Marketing Is
Mobile marketing topped not one but two separate marketing trends to watch for 2015 on Forbes, and it makes sense. The number one object we interact with on a daily basis is our mobile devices. Since people are already looking at their phones, they aren’t really paying as much attention to other forms of advertising. Companies are simply missing out by not having an excellent mobile marketing strategy.
2. Assure that Mobile Marketing is Simple to Implement
A big concern when developing a mobile marketing strategy is the how to get started. Mobile marketing comes with federal regulations and building a mobile list can be daunting. However, tell your boss to rest assured, your amazing mobile marketing can still march on strong. The rules aren’t too tough to follow and building a list can be as easy as a text-to-earn promotion. If your boss is still hesitant about going at it alone, there are many mobile marketing companies (like yours truly) that can ease the transition into an mobile marketing campaign.
3. Social Media Only Goes So Far
Social media is like the Marsha of the the marketing Brady Bunch. It is the golden child that everyone wants to talk about. While social media can be a great tool for marketing, it has its limits. For one, it is hard to find the right platform or platforms for your business. You can tweet to your hearts content but, if your demographic doesn’t have a strong Twitter presence, you’re not being the most effective. The best way to think about it is this: Everyone uses their cell phones to text but, not everyone uses their phones to tweet/snap/insta/post to Facebook.
In short? Mobile and SMS marketing could be your bosses new best friend. It has high appeal to customers and a splendid ROI. A simple, well developed mobile marketing strategy could be just the fresh idea your boss never knew they wanted which elevates both you and your company.
Mobile Marketing, Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy, SMS Marketing
The average person is bombarded with about 360 advertisements per day from TV, radio, Internet, and print media alone. In such a saturated marketing landscape, it is no wonder so many people opt for ad-blockers on their browsers or DVR shows so that they can skip the commercials. Since mobile marketing is so direct, mobile marketers have to rethink their strategies so that they can be effective without feeling like an annoyance. Here are some of our favorite tips for smart SMS marketing that won’t pester your customers.
1. Send the Right Message to the Right People
I know this is Marketing 101 but, it is still common mistake. Many mobile marketers might cast their nets a little too far, incorporating people who are in the wrong location (like the wrong country) or are not the target audience. Once you have incorporated the correct user segment, make sure that the message is clear, appropriate, and engaging. If you are sending mobile coupon code or links to digital coupons, make sure that those codes and coupons work.
2. Timing is Everything
Just like with telemarketers, no one wants to get a marketing text message late on Friday night or 6AM Sunday morning. Make sure that if your customers are subscribed to receive periodic messages from your company that the messages are going out during an appropriate time. So, when is the best time? That tends to vary based on your particular audience and product/service. However, research shows that text messaging is most effective between 10:00am and 8:00pm.
3. Don’t Be Clingy
Every company wants to have a positive and profitable relationship with their customer. However, like with romantic relationships, companies shouldn’t come off as overly attached. Try to limit the number of text messages sent to as few as possible as to not bother your customers. According to a survey conducted by Autosend, 67% of customers said they would like to receive texts from businesses at least 1-5 times a week.
By now we all understand how beneficial smart SMS marketing can be to a company however, maintaining customer opt-ins can be a delicate process. It is important to strategize effectively to limit the number of opt-outs as well as to have a successful return on your campaign. Again, like romance, a good SMS relationship can grow into something much more valuable.
Best Practices, Company Success, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Strategy, SMS Marketing
In a recent survey conducted by Luxury Daily, among respondents who use retail mobile apps 51% use them in-store. It is no surprise that no one leaves home without their beloved cell phone, and companies are taking full advantage by being more aggressive in their mobile marketing strategies. So how exactly do in-store shopping experience and mobile marketing working together?
In-Store Information for Staying Pretty On-the-Go
Beauty store mecca, Sephora, launched revamped to-go apps for all major smart devices this year. Customers have the ability to scan products in-store and instantly read ratings and reviews, receive notifications about special offers, use unique photo tools to help try on new make-up looks, and take a contouring class on the go. Providing this kind of information in-store to shoppers in real-time can be the difference between leaving the store and making a purchase. Information is power, after all, and the customer feels empowered when provided with options.
Color Your World: Personalizing the Shopping Experience
Sherwin-Williams is also personalizing the shopping experience with their new ColorSnap Visualizer mobile app. Much like virtual dressing rooms, ColorSnap allows customers to scan color swatches in-store to see them applied in simulated rooms. Director of electric business marketing at Sherwin-Williams, Megan Vickers justifies ColorSnap by saying, “An in-store color swatch is the truest representation of the color, but on its own, it can be difficult for many to imagine that small swatch of color filling the walls of their home.” This tool allows shoppers to make this key home decor shopping experience easier and decrease the time until a final transaction.
In addition to motivating consumers to get to the physical store, the new challenge comes in integrating mobile tools with the shopping experience itself. According to Apptentive, the top reason customers will use a store’s mobile app while shopping in-store is to redeem discount offers. While incentive based interest is profitable, many companies strive to engage with customers on a more personalized level.
What is your in-store retail plan to drive more revenue and decrease the time to purchase?
Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Retail
How Mobile Marketers Are Targeting Hungry Families
With the end of summer and the beginning of school season in full gear, many families are facing the challenge of creating simple dinners that can please everyone at the table. So where does a busy parent turn to for dinner inspiration? Break out a tired favorite out of the cookbook? Comb through the vast amounts of kale and quinoa dinner-in-a-jar recipes pinned on their Pinterest boards? For some, inspiration comes right from their mobile devices, which provides an opportunity for mobile marketers.
“Pushing” For Grocery Store Interaction
Recently, Clorox has launched a mobile based campaign for its Hidden Valley Ranch, the popular salad dressing brand, and Soy Vay, a line of Kosher Asian inspired sauces and marinades, to engage consumers to head out to their local grocery stores. With the help of iBeacon, Clorox has developed an app that sends cooking “hacks” whenever their target audience is close to or inside of a grocery store. Push notifications can range anywhere from recipes to product locations within the isles.
A Meal via SMS Alert
For the occasions when the idea of cooking is just too much, many quick service restaurants provide relief with the use text message opt-ins. A&W Restaurants’ text club provided users with coupons sent via text starting with a free Papa Burger ® just for opting in. Chipotle’s mobile list offers users BOGOs on their burritos and bowls. Domino’s new Anyware ™ campaign allows customers to order pizza on any device, be it on a smart watch, a tweet, or even a text.
Mixing food and phone together seems to be the profitable direction for both food companies and mobile marketing. Retail SMS, in-app messaging, and multiple device integration are the new norms of how we market food. Food is a highly saturated market with a 70-80 percent fail rate for new products launched in the grocery store market and a 61 percent fail rate for restaurants. However, as food brands continue to assert themselves more in the mobile market, the daunting question “What are we having for dinner?” can be much easier to tackle.
Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing, Retail, SMS Marketing
Using Augmented Reality Technology to Create the Virtual Dressing Room
Technology advances blow my mind sometimes. In just 4 years, we’ve seen leaps and bounds in the developments of the technology on our mobile devices alone. The virtual dressing room concept that I once fantasized about after seeing the movie Clueless is not as far away as it once seemed. And the excitement around this idea continues to grow. A recent survey from Accenture entitled Life of the Digital Edge: How Augmented Reality Can Enhance Customer Experience and Drive Growth found that virtual dressing rooms were rated among highest use for Augmented Reality for potential retail conversions.
What augmented reality use case would increase your likelihood
of purchasing the product?
- Virtual furniture app: 86%
- Virtual dressing room: 88%
- Color changing app: 73%
- Catalog app: 65%
- Shopping app: 75%
- Shoe sampler app: 87%
- Virtual vehicle manual: 75%
- Gamification app: 61%
Source: Accenture 2014 Augmented Reality Survey
“Augmented reality is an emerging technology that superimposes computer-generated images and content onto real-world environments, thereby enhancing a user’s perception of reality by combining physical and virtual elements.” (source: Accenture)
While this is a really exciting prospect, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they haven’t actually seen or used an Augmented Reality technology before. As companies continue to grow recognition and adoption among consumers, there are several other mobile tools surfacing with similar concepts that making the retail shopping experience easier for everyone.
Exciting Mobile Concepts
1. Mix Me. This mobile app allows users to mix and match clothes, organize their wardrobes, as well as make purchases. Developed by German shop Infobest, this app let’s the user take photos from multiple angles to capture the image of themselves and then generates a 3D model of the person.
2. Voonik.com. This Bangalore based website recommends clothes to based on a preferred style, clothing tastes and body type. When a customer signs up she takes a short visual quiz that reveals information about her body type and style preferences. Then instant recommendations are sent from stylists on what will suit her, how to wear the clothes, and what to pair them with. Naturally, it is available as a mobile app as well.
3.Fits.Me. This is a tool for online shopping. Capturing shopper dimensions and fit preferences adds vital real-time insights that enable the retailer or brand to curate and personalize every shopper’s experience at every touchpoint. Brands invite customers to enter their sizes, and it create an avatar that tries on clothes to find the best fit – which reduces returns and increases customer satisfaction with e-commerce. (Case Study)
4. TrialKart. Through the mobile app, users can choose any listed apparel and click on the ‘Try’ option. Using either an image taken by the phone’s camera on the spot or from an existing photo in the app’s gallery, users can visualize themselves in the outfit. It allows the ability to pinch, zoom, and orient the apparel so that it is correctly placed on the picture. Social sharing of the final image helps the users gather opinions, and the brands to get viral marketing.
Takeaways about Virtual Dressing Rooms and Mobile Retail
Trying on clothes to find the right style and fit is fun for fashionistas, but for many of us it is a chore. Leveraging virtual dressing rooms using mobile tools – from mobile apps to mobile websites – can reduce stress. Customers feel satisfied faster, develop brand loyalty and will stick with the retailers providing the best tools.
mobile commerce, Mobile Marketing, Retail