If you are one of the approximately 54 percent of American adults who doesn’t yet own a smartphone, you may also have a wallet stuffed with dinosaurs – loyalty punch cards for restaurants and other businesses you like to frequent. If not already extinct, your cards are headed that way. The news is worse if you are one of the 81 percent of retailers who don’t have an e-commerce application for building mobile loyalty. Your business may be heading for a new kind of ice age due to outdated marketing. To avoid dying a sudden, financially chilly death in the swamps of business competition, explore ways to market to customers on the go through mobile apps.
Getting the help you need
If you are the owner of a small business without a marketing department, you may wonder how to add mobile marketing to your pile of tasks. A company that specializes in mobile marketing can help you to communicate with potential and return customers wherever they are at any given moment. Mobile marketing companies can help you connect with customers through various apps using techniques such as push notification in which you make special offers for a limited amount of time.
Push comes to lunch
In a push notification, a potential or returning customer’s smartphone announces receipt of a notice via an alert — such as a pop-up message – sent by a mobile app. The message is received even if customer isn’t running the app when it is received. For example, if you own a restaurant and want to increase lunch hour traffic on a particular day, you might send out a push notification around 9 a.m. offering a special to the first 150 people who respond. The respondents collect a code, which is generally a string of letters and digits. The customer would likely redeem the code upon arriving for lunch, although they could also claim the deal online if ordering food for delivery. In contrast to a loyalty card, which a customer uses on random days, push notifications allow a business owner to achieve more predictable results for a particular day. They also make it possible to gather data about customer preferences, identify purchasing patterns and customize future offers.
Customizing interactions with consumers
Gathering data generated by smartphones and tablets allows marketing to reach customers based on their personal preferences or reward them simply for walking across your threshold. American Eagle now participates in an app called shopkick that rewards subscribers with points each time they walk into an AE store. Customers also gain points for interacting with specific merchandise or making purchases. A mobile app used by the frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry allows customers to use their smartphones to pay for purchases. It also makes it easy for customers to quickly locate the local Pinkberry outlet selling whatever flavor they want at any given moment.
Mobile marketing can help you build business by giving customers what they want when they want it. Smartphones and tablets make it easier to know those wants and respond quickly, from picking up a pair of jeans to snagging some froyo on the go.