It is very exciting to be part of an industry that navigates change regularly. The current growth in mobile marketing bears some resemblance to the evolution of Internet marketing that began in the late 1990s. Firms are trying to figure out: a) should they have a dedicated mobile marketing strategy and b) what the heck to do if they decide to go mobile. Here is some good news for companies weighing their mobile marketing options: Not only can a mobile strategy be used to remain competitive, but it can be used to enhance customer value and increase customer loyalty.
The promise of mobile marketing is particularly powerful for retailers and other B2C marketers that rely on customer transactions to fuel growth. Access to a retailer’s products via a mobile device is one way to add value by making shopping more convenient. But, being an alternative to bricks-and-mortar shopping is not experience is not the only potential payoff of a mobile marketing strategy. Integrating mobile options into the payment or checkout process adds value by increasing the efficiency of serving customers. When shoppers pay via mobile devices, it reduces the amount of time spent completing the transaction (e.g., swiping credit card or making change). Thus, all customers are served faster… even the ones not paying with mobile devices.
An even more exciting potential benefit of implementing a mobile marketing strategy is that it can have a positive impact on customer loyalty. This benefit has been the experience of The Bean, a three-store coffee house in New York City. The Bean implemented a mobile payment system offered by LevelUp. Shoppers with the LevelUp app installed on their mobile devices can pay from their devices and at the same time earn rewards through repeat purchases. The impact on customer loyalty is noticeable as evidenced by:
- 30% of customers using LevelUp app return in less than two weeks
- Most LevelUp users have visited The Bean five or more times.
In a highly competitive B2C environment, mobile marketing can be used to set a brand apart from competition. Customers will value the convenience of technology-assisted transactions and be inclined to be repeat customers because of the relationship facilitated by mobile apps.But, before investing in hardware or software to implement a mobile marketing program a strategy is needed to outline the objectives to achieve and how it meshes with existing marketing programs. The mobile frontier is still relatively unsettled; explore opportunities to build a competitive advantage and customer loyalty through mobile channels.