The 2013 holiday shopping season is here. For marketers, this Christmas in July-August-September-October period is Ground Zero for holiday campaign planning. This year, mobile marketing is integral to the experience.
After all, use of mobile phones as holiday shopping tools is growing—58 percent of American mobile phone owners used their devices in-store in the 2012 season alone, a 6 percent increase from 2011.
Those numbers are only going to keep growing. With that in mind, marketers incorporating mobile messaging into their overall strategies can use this time to begin gauging the impact of their SMS, mobile email, push notification and in-app message content.
This is critical, because today's consumers are being constantly bombarded with marketing messages from every direction. If you're a marketer beginning to plan your holiday blitz, here are some tips that can help you maximize the ROI of your end-of-year mobile campaigns.
- Use Mobile Coupons—Researchers are predicting consumers will redeem more than 10 billion mobile coupons this year. Furthermore, digital coupon users make 21 percent more trips to a store each year than consumers who don't use digital coupons.
- Combine Mobile and In-Store Engagement—Make mobile the linchpin of a multichannel strategy that targets consumers, both on their devices and in your store. A great example to emulate is Macy's, whose Black Friday app gives customers previews of deals, engages them through push notifications, allows them to create shareable lists and then, once they are in a store, steers them toward their chosen merchandise.
- Deploy Mobile-Only Deals—Make your mobile customers feel special with deals tailored just for those who place orders or make purchases on a smartphone or tablet. Offer loyalty rewards—pegged to specific days, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday—available only to program members who respond to your mobile messages.
- MEASURE—In order to get the most out of each and every message you send, you'll need to measure those messages' effectiveness through techniques such as A/B testing and retargeting to ensure maximum relevance. If messages aren't relevant, you'll just drive your customers away—possibly into your competitors' stores.
Consumers will be hitting both brick-and-mortar and online stores in earnest before you know it (in some cases, right after Thanksgiving dinner). The holidays are the most profitable time of year for retailers, and designing elaborate campaigns is a challenge that can't be appropriately tackled in just one month.