In this article we aim to show you how retail teams can create an effective mobile marketing strategy to boost sales and customer engagement. Eighty-nine percent of shoppers start their customer journey by searching online. Most of these searches happen on mobile devices — in fact, this year, it’s estimated that shoppers will spend at total of £25 billion on products they order through their phones and other mobile devices. This growth in shopping on mobile is partially due to shoppers’ appreciation for how easy it is to compare prices and shop online.
As more well-known retailers, such as Miss Selfridge, Karen Millen, and Coast, continue to close the doors of their brick-and-mortar stores, it’s clear that retailers need to figure out a way to incorporate mobile marketing strategies into their promotional campaigns in order to survive the increased reliance on ecommerce. A proactive approach allows retailers to cater to a wider audience and the desire for shoppers to buy on mobile.
To help you create an effective mobile marketing strategy, let’s look at a four-step process that will help you identify your mobile marketing goals, create content, and incorporate the right tools and features into your strategy.
1. Define the Goal of Your Mobile Marketing Strategy.
When it comes to communication, it doesn’t help you or your customers if you send general mobile-messaging blasts. To convince customers to buy something, you need to send messages that are relevant and cater to specific needs. The first step in developing your mobile marketing strategy is to define your communication goals.
There are three main benefits to having a clear customer-communication goal. You’re able to
define the types of messages you’ll send;
move customers from the awareness and research stages of their customer journey to the purchase stage; and
create and nurture relationships with your audience.
Whatever your customer-communication goal is — increase leads, maximize sales, or create more product awareness — you need a way to define and measure it. You need SMART goals. These goals are:
Specific. Goals are based on customer needs or an opportunity you’ve identified.
Measurable. Each goal has to have a benchmark against which you can measure your success.
Achievable. Goals have to be attainable; otherwise, you set your campaigns up for failure.
Relevant. Goals have to be related to your mission and help you stay on course to accomplish it.
Time-bound. Goals have to have a timeline for when they’ll be met.
Let’s look at an example of how to make sure you’ve identified SMART goals. Let’s say you’ve noticed a drop in sales and want to use your mobile marketing strategy to reengage customers who’ve bought something in the past. Your SMART goal analysis would be:
Specific. You want to increase sales.
Measurable. To measure your success, analyze metrics like conversion rate, average transaction value, and month-over-month (MoM) growth.
Achievable. Increasing sales over time is achievable with the right marketing strategy.
Relevant. You’re in business to grow, so a goal to increase sales is in line with your overall mission.
Time-bound. If you run ongoing campaigns, set quarterly sales targets.
You can have more than one customer-communication goal, but make sure each one follows this SMART goal template.
2. Segment Your Audience to Allow for Personalization.
Based on a report by SmarterHQ “seventy-two percent of customers say that they’ll only engage with personalized messages that cater to their interests.” You have a better chance of standing out and cutting through the noise of impersonal bulk messages when you send personalized messages. Keep in mind that, in addition to including customer names, your messages have to reference their preferences.
If you have hundreds or even thousands of customers, sending each one a custom message can feel a little daunting. One way to approach personalization is customer segmentation. This is the categorization of your customer list based on their shared characteristics so that your marketing efforts are targeted and relevant. There are four types of customer segmentation:
Demographic segmentation. Segment customers based on characteristics like age, income, education, gender, and career.
Geographical segmentation. Segment customers based on their physical location.
Psychographic segmentation. Segment customers based on their personality traits, lifestyles, attitudes, motivations, and interests.
Behavioral segmentation. Segment customers based on their purchase patterns, brand loyalty, and the benefits they seek.
Once you’ve created your segments, use SMS and rich media messaging (RMM) drip campaigns — a series of messages sent over a predetermined period — to target each one. For example, to target your behavioural segment, send a series of messages based on the actions customers take:
Send a purchase confirmation message after each customer purchase. Follow this message with one that asks customers to share a review or complete a survey.
Send abandoned-cart messages when customers add products to their carts but don’t check out.
Send promotional offers when customers add products to their ecommerce wish lists.
Send a reengagement message to customers who haven’t made a purchase in the past 30 days.
Most of these messages require that you send them immediately after a customer completes an action. For messages that don’t have to be sent right away, wait a few days, and send messages between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. Most adults in the UK check their phones every 12 minutes, so they’re likely to see your message and open it within seconds of receiving it. For a drip campaign, send your messages over the course of a few days.
The result of segmentation and custom drip campaigns is improved customer experience. Customers are more engaged and responsive because they see that the more they share about their preferences, the more relevant the messages they receive.
3. Determine Your Mobile Marketing Tool Kit.
The next step in creating a mobile marketing strategy is to determine which tools you’ll use. With mobile messaging, there are lots of options available to you, but you need a tool that gives you the flexibility to send more than just SMS messages. You can send in-app notifications if your ecommerce store has an app. With VoiceSage, you also have the option to send RMM and interactive voice messages (IVM).
With RMM, customers have an interactive experience that lets them buy without leaving their text-message app. All they have to do is click on the message to visit your store and browse your products. With IVM, you can send custom voice messages that invite customers to participate in upcoming sales promotions.
What tools and features you use depends on the types of messages you’d like to send and the goals you have. Here are some examples of when to use each mobile message type:
SMS campaigns. Since these messages are text-based, they’re perfect for sending short, time-sensitive offers. In the message, include the discount amount, the purchase deadline, and a link to your product page so customers can start shopping.
RMM campaigns. These messages offer more flexibility because they contain rich media. Send an image of a coupon, and link customers to your product page when they click on the image; or include a barcode that customers can scan in-store to receive a discount. This option is particularly beneficial because 83% of shoppers 18 to 44 years of age use their phones in stores.
IVM campaigns. IVMs are typically used by customer support and customer billing departments, but there’s an opportunity for sales to leverage this communication type. Send IVMs to your most loyal customers to introduce new products or new offers based on their past purchases or their preferences. Follow this message up with a short SMS text that links to your website or, if possible, to the customers’ personal dashboards on your website.
Analyze each message type for open and click-through rates to see whether they help you meet your goals. Based on your findings, adjust which features you use in your mobile marketing strategy.
4. Incorporate Proximity Marketing to Target Customers.
The final step in creating a mobile marketing strategy is figuring out how to use mobile messages to get foot traffic into your physical stores. A survey by Marketingsignals.com found that 85% of respondents still prefer to shop in physical stores. Despite the growth in ecommerce, customers like these prefer to shop in-store because they receive their items immediately.
To cater to your audience, your marketing campaigns likely include some combination of in-store promotions, Google ads, email marketing, social media marketing, promotions sent via mobile messaging, and display ads targeting people surfing the web. These are all effective ways to capture your audience’s attention and encourage them to visit your brick-and-mortar store.
However, another option is a cross between display ads and in-store marketing. Combined, these two tactics help generate attention from people who aren’t physically in one of your stores — but they’re close by. This is proximity marketing, which uses beacons to target customers who are in the general area of one of your stores. When potential customers are within range, they automatically receive a message inviting them to go in and buy something.
Proximity marketing is a creative way to share special offers and promotions with customers and get them into your store. Additional benefits:
Encourage impulse purchases. With the right offer, you can entice people to make an unplanned purchase. For example, if it’s a sunny day and someone walking by your store thinks about buying a pair of sunglasses, a proximity message with a discount offer will encourage them to go inside and buy those sunglasses.
Attract new customers. For customers who may or may not be familiar with you, a message inviting them to take advantage of a special offer might be enough to convert them from casual passerby to customer.
Promote customer loyalty. Offer special offers to retained customers. For example, offer a free product — something they value — when they make a purchase over a certain value.
To maximize the impact of your messages and generate lots of in-store traffic, send proximity messages during seasonal sales periods, such as Black Friday and the Christmas holidays. These messages help increase product awareness and get people who are already in shopping mode into your store.
Keep in mind, there’s one major restriction with proximity marketing: The products you advertise might not be available in all of your brick-and-mortar stores. When stock availability doesn’t match customer expectations, it hurts their experience. One way to fix this is to focus on sharing offers rather than speaking about specific products.
Over time, experience with this road map will allow you to make adjustments and do a better job of meeting your needs and the needs of customers.
It’s OK if your goals change or if new segments are identified. Use your road map to adjust your mobile marketing strategy to continue being successful. What’s important is that you check in with your road map periodically to make sure it’s effective.
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