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To say mobile is now a big part of a brand’s marketing strategy would be like saying a child gets pretty excited when his/her birthday nears. It’s pretty obvious.
But there is research out that says mobile-ad spend by brands will outpace that of offline marketing channels in 2016. Approximately 87 percent of retail marketers said they plan to increase their mobile-ad spend this year, and roughly 39 percent said they may center their entire ad-spend strategy around mobile. Based upon the number of convenience stores that have gone full force with mobile strategies, in particular mobile apps, this data may be of particular interest.
For c-stores implementing or hoping to improve their mobile strategies, here are five things to consider:
1. Which Mobile Strategy Still Works Best?
When it comes to mobile, SMS is still king. SMS is a ubiquitous technology that is proven and mature in its lifecycle, and it is widely used to drive a number of business outcomes.
C-store operators leverage SMS for interactive conversation and engagement with customers, as well as instant notifications and promotions. What's more, consumers are already conditioned to use and respond to SMS messages, and the technology platform enjoys a 98-percent open rate (with 90 percent opened and read within the first three minutes or less).
2. Focus on Omnichannel
Mobile integrates well into a broader omnichannel strategy, which can be critical for c-store operators since their customers are most likely receiving promotional messages from a variety of online and offline channels. After all, the typical c-store shopper today is accustomed to using a mobile device, yet makes purchases in-store.
C-store operators should leverage a mobile strategy to deliver content that focuses on reach, ubiquity and immediacy. Furthermore, the message, voice and tone should create a consistent brand experience with other digital and offline customer touchpoints.
3. Personalization & Localization
The beauty of mobile, in comparison to email, for example, is its ability to be ultra-personalized and localized all at the same time. C-store operators should make sure their mobile strategy is loaded with each customer’s loyalty program membership profile, preferences such as birthdays and special occasions, and purchase history data. As an example, Amazon is great at reminding consumers of their previous purchases every time they log on.
Location-based technology and notifications provide brands the opportunity to capitalize on a customer’s proximity to a store or physical location and message them with promotions or relevant content. How amazing would it be if a popular c-store notified customers of the day’s deals every time they drove nearby?
Successful mobile strategies employ opt-in requirements designed with TCPA, CTIA and carrier requirements in mind. First, a transactional/single message program should be simple for customers, such as texting a code for opt-in request. Additionally, the opt-in process should be used for permission to send ongoing messages.
4. Calls to Action
As with all forms of marketing, calls-to-action (CTA) are a critical part of the overall success. Brands need to pay close attention to the construction of CTAs, and they should be relevant to the customer’s position within the purchase process.
An appropriate CTA for a customer during signup should direct them to the brand’s loyalty program. However, an existing customer should have a CTA directing them to specific promotions or offers.
5. Compliance & Measurement
It is important to adhere to compliance and regulations in mobile marketing, such as maintaining useful terms and conditions that are easily accessible online. Marketers should also enable the universal keywords HELP and STOP, including alternates such as END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE and QUIT.
Lastly, any marketing strategy worth doing needs to be measured. Ensure at a minimum that some sort of performance benchmarks are notated at the beginning of each campaign, quarterly or even monthly; and review campaigns thoroughly to decide where improvements or adjustments need to be made.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News.