When it comes to mobile media, some marketing, retailers and advertisers are lacking in creativity by not using what may already be available to them to send the "right" messages.
According to Alex Romanov, CEO of iSIGN Media, “With digital signage costs going down, most retailers are using digital signage as static billboards, not sending real-time messages or interacting with their customers.”
He argues instead, retailers should embrace and integrate mobile marketing as well to send unified messages to their customers while they are in the store.
In other words, retailers need to combine digital and mobile to be more effective and increase ROI.
This approach allows retailers to use their current digital signage to broadcast the one message they should be delivering, which is “enable your mobile device to receive additional offers,” as well.
This way, retailers are sending a call to action to all of their customers and prospective new ones, saving on print advertising costs, and engaging customers via relevant mobile marketing.
The adoption of mobile and mobile marketing are big topics, but many retailers just don’t know which department should handle it - whether it should be external ad-agencies or internal marketing departments.
Here is Romanov's suggestions on implementing an effective, integrated strategy:
Drop the Old Mentality: Many retailers still have an old mentality when it comes to marketing, they need to make consumers aware that they benefit by becoming part of this mobile interaction. For example, 100% of mobile marketing a few years ago was text based but this has now been replaced and about 98% of all mobile marketing is Internet based, thanks to smartphones and wireless devices.
This was a broad, unfocused approach that was not private and not immediately relevant. In today's world, what they need is a proximity solution which is private, relevant and a measurable call to action. More and more consumers are using mobile devices to help them make a decision.
Savvy retailers like Target and Starbucks are adopting and utilizing new mobile technology. Retailers are still learning to use that opportunity to their advantage (and take a "walled garden" approach to their mobile web to prevent showrooming), and engage with consumers through multiple channels while they are in close proximity and primed and ready to purchase.
Keep It In the Store: retailers need to do two things: promote their brand/key brands and merchandize.
Promoting the brand is a long-term effort, but merchandizing is a weekly/daily effort and that can be best approached through proximity marketing.
Setting up a display or digital sign 50 miles away from the store location will not be effective. Rather, retailers should take that effort and put it into mobile devices that send relevant messages within 300 feet or less and for a much lower cost.
Mobile proximity marketing targets costumers while they’re nearby, in store and willing to embrace real-time data that promotes daily/weekly sales. We can all remember passing by a store window and seeing a big sign on display announcing a big sale. Now, we are using that same concept and have just digitalized it to reach today’s mobile and always-connected consumer.
Keep Customer Privacy In Mind: Retailers should implement their mobile marketing efforts but need to keep their costumer’s privacy in mind. They should not go spamming potential customers by thinking their message is better or worth more than their peace of mind.
A recent example of this making headlines is Papa John’s, which sent numerous unsolicited text messages to customers in the middle of the night.
Retailers need to respect clientele, and send them messages that are timely, relevant, and provide them with an incentive to become a loyalty member and therefore increase engagement.
Cherish Opt-in Customers: Once customers have agreed to a loyalty program, retailers can carefully and respectfully continue to provide them with more options and offers and ultimately, generate a meaningful relationship with them while increasing sales. Privacy conscious mobile marketing can be done, and that's something that we here at iSIGN take pride in our solution.
Keep It Close To The Store: Mobile marketing when it is done in proximity to the store can make this effort very relevant..
Mobile messaging will prompt a consumers’ memory and remind them of what they want to purchase, or didn’t remember the store sold while close to or within the physical location.
For example, a customer is in the toys aisle but they get an offer from the kitchen appliances aisle, and that will lead them from one place within the store to the next without having to search on their own.
With mobile marketing a reatiler does not need a POS system, and with solutions such as Isign Media, it costs nothing for the consumer to receive a message.
Disadvantages: One of the disadvantages of mobile marketing in the retail industry is that it makes competitive information (like price comparison and other products and services) accessible right in the retailer's very open store, using your time, floor space and money.
Mobile opened a new window for customers to engage in showrooming, but some retailers are finding their way around that by improving their customer service in store and using Wi-Fi as a in in-store service that only allows customers to search their own sales and nearby products.