by Ashley Haugen
Mobile marketing is unique in that it provides customers with media that is both time and location sensitive, and highly personalized. According to Greg Stuart, the global CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, “Mobile’s unique selling proposition is the fact that it is personal, pervasive, and leverages proximity.” These three things create incredible brand relevancy and convenience, and the potential for very persuasive marketing.
Retailers are hoping to capitalize on the potential of smartphones with “geofencing.” This location-based strategy is designed to provide consumers with offers, rewards and coupons based on their specific geographic location. Text messages are delivered to shoppers who approach a participating retailer’s store or a store selling a brand that is enrolled in the program. This space is called a geo-fence, and customers can register to receive messages via SMS or online.
Not only are retailers hoping that geofencing will attract customers into their stores, but hopefully stop them from “price-checking.” According to market research from Forrester Research, “some 15% of respondents said they use their mobile phones in stores to compare prices to online-only rivals.”
Patrick Moorhead, senior vice president and group management director of mobile platforms at Interpublic Group’s Draftfcb Chicago noted that, “Adding the location trigger to our clients’ messages starts to get us towards this Holy Grail of relevancy and one-to-one communication that has long been the promise of mobile as a marketing channel.”
Location-based promotions can let marketers increase the relevance and worth of their messages, which are indispensable qualities for any marketing campaign. The fine line they tread? Mobile marketers must know the difference between annoying and useful. Text messaging is a very personal medium and so retailers need to respect that it isn’t just another outlet to blast sales pitches.