Location-Based Mobile Marketing Gives Customers What They Want
Customer engagement and retail’s push to “delight” the customer has lead to a re-evaluation of product marketing. Some refer to that by the cringe-worthy term, “marketeering,” but really it’s old-fashioned clienteling: The act of knowing the customer well enough to promote relevant products or services.
Although clienteling has been practiced since the dawn of retail, today’s technology offers an abundance of riches in terms of relating to customers. Retailers have been collecting data for years, but only recently have tools emerged that lets them make sense of it. By analyzing that information, retailers can effectively take control of their revenue streams. For example, retailers can take specific information about their shoppers and provide targeted, intelligent offers, as well as time-sensitive notifications, to attract customers. Using that in combination with GPS and iBeacon geolocation technology, is the next step, and it’s coming.
Virtually every retail customer walking down the street or in a mall has a mobile device, but few retailers are taking advantage of that ready-made platform. Solutions such as those from Mowingo and iSign use geo-location to identify the proximity of shoppers before pushing out a notification. In conjunction with that, they create unique customer profiles that aim to send appropriate content.
Context is critical, which is why geo-location and profiling go hand in hand. It reduces the likelihood, for example, of a man getting a text informing him of a flash sale on stockings when he is in the ladies shoe department — following his wife.
These solutions tend to boost loyalty for retailers too, because customers feel like a valued part of the retailer’s community. To compete with Amazon, retailers need to leverage their community location, and providing special, personalized promotions is one way of achieving that goal. Those promotions might include coupons, or VIP events.Going back two or three years, retailers discounted how much customers enjoy coupons; to many shoppers, coupons can be perceived as a sort of validation that they are special, valued, etc., a type of “insider” reward. Once customers feel that they are part of an exclusive club, they are more willing to provide personal information because the value proposition is attractive.
For retailers considering incorporating location services, a best practice is to explain to customers what’s in it for them: “By using your location, we will provide a better service, and reward you for your loyalty.” For some, discounts will be the driving factor to get them into a store. For others, it’s about the sense of community. Reminding customers about options (communication) and offering them specials (discounts) are both effective. Over time, you will learn which customer needs what amount of encouragement to win their business.