Mobile Marketing In Minneapolis And What It Means For Your Brand

By Ben Smith

WHY MINNEAPOLIS?

For Retail Leverage purposes, 3M doesn’t stand for the company that gave us post-it notes.  In this case, it stands for Mobile Marketing In Minneapolis – where you should look for leadership in this rapidly expanding consumer touchpoint.  Target and Best Buy are retail leaders in different aspects of mobile marketing, and their leadership will impact adoption throughout the rest of the retail.  This article provides an overview of their mobile marketing efforts.  If you deal with Target or Best Buy, your antennae should be tuned to how you can incorporate / leverage mobile marketing in your business with them.


TARGET LEVERAGING MOBILE COUPONS

One point of differentiation between Target and Walmart has been that Target embraces coupons.  So it is no surprise that Target will become the first retailer to accept mobile coupons at all of its stores. Target’s program requires consumers to opt-in to receive text messages to their mobile phone, with links to mobile web pages with barcoded offers they can use at checkout.

I don’t have the data to prove it, but I’m willing to bet that Target’s customers have a higher adoption rate in smart phone usage, as well of general text messaging usage than Walmart’s customers.

Promoting the usage of coupons also helps Target in its quest to overcome the perception that customers don’t save as much when they choose to shop at Target over Walmart.  On a related note, I wonder if the mobilization of coupons will cause Walmart to warm up to them?

BEST BUY LEVERAGING SALES LEADERSHIP IN SMART PHONES

Best Buy demonstrated their mobile marketing leadership early by enabling consumers with mobile phones to get product info sent via text message.  They plaster the 7 digit code & instructions throughout their circular ads and in-store POS and got valuable learning from consumers use of the technology.  However, the text messaging was just a piece of their evolving mobile marketing strategy.

Best Buy’s unique position as the leading retailer of smart phones (and mobile phones in general) positions them at the front lines of the rapid growth / evolution of uses for Smart phones, including mobile commerce.  In a recent article appearing at www.mobilemarketer.com, Tracy Benson, senior director of interactive marketing and emerging media at Best Buy, shared the trends Best Buy sees in mobile commerce, as well as provided a peek into their mobile commerce results.

6 trends in Mobile Commerce that Best Buy discussed:

  1. Increased Smartphone Sales And Usage
  2. Dramatic Increase In Mobile Web Usage
  3. Mobile Commerce Adoption Grows
  4. Mobile Search Becoming Essential
  5. Multichannel Marketing Mix Expanding
  6. Market Fragmentation Continuing

Visible Impact to Best Buy online traffic:

3% traffic coming from mobile (and increasing as a percentage of total)

Significant Impact to Best Buy’s Conversion rate:

25% higher on mobile platform than wired website (and increasing as compared to wired website)

Ways Consumers Are Using Best Buy’s Mobile Platform:

  • 30% are using for research
  • 18% are using to check inventory
  • 28% are using to make a purchase
  • (In store pickup heavily used)

Where Best Buy’s Mobile Platform Is Used:

  • 60% are accessing from home via their mobile device
  • 14% are accessing while in store

TAKEAWAYS:

You already knew retailer dot-coms were increasing in importance.  It’s not like that internet thing is going away – but I’m not sure if everyone sees the mobile marketing tsunami silently rolling across the ocean.  The smart phone arms race will accelerate the mobile applications available and consumers understanding of how much power they have in their hands.  If you’re visited Retail Leverage before, I’m sure you’ve picked up the theme that your retailer’s priorities should be your priorities also.  So add mobile marketing to your retailer checklist and bone up on the latest applications that consumers will use when making decisions in the aisle.  The good news is that retailers dot coms can be a great equalizer for challenger brands versus the big guys.

Finally, here are 3 things brands can do to improve their mobile marketing efforts:

  1. Optimize your brands website for mobile.  The goal is to help consumers find info about your products from their mobile phone, without regard for where they actually purchase it.
  2. Improve / increase your presence on your retailers website.  If you have a brand showcase on a retailers website, investigate its mobile appearance / functionality.
  3. Optimize search on the retailers website.  Yes you have to pay for this.  Others are already doing it.  It is only going to increase in importance.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Very nice post, Ben. Thanks!

    I’d like to float a point for consideration. We’re all in tune to smart-phone growth and all the hype around the hundreds of thousands of associated apps. This is no doubt the future of mobile in retail. I’d like to know, however, how we serve the dominant feature-phone segment today? (83% of mobile phones in the market today are feature-phones, while 17% are smart phones) Is there too much attention on apps? No way! Apps deserve the attention they get. But where does phone-neutral voice applications fit in the mix? Voice applications are easy to use, intuitive and fit perfectly with how consumers shop. (ever notice someone walking down the aisle, talking on their phone?…my weak attempt at understatement)

    Please check out our white paper on The Future of Mobile in Retail. Let me know what you think!

    Michael Swart
    VP of Strategic Development
    Aisle411, Inc.
    http://www.aisle411.com
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelswart

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by RetailLeverage: Understand what Mobile Marketing in Minneapolis means to you + 3 things your brand should be doing http://bit.ly/axYHlX

  3. [...] WHY YOU SHOULD BUY BILLBOARDS IN BENTONVILLE (or the alliterative cousin, Mobile Marketing In Minneapolis): [...]

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