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25 posts categorized "Retail"

April 17, 2014

Six of the Best: Mobile Marketing Campaigns

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When devising a text marketing strategy, it makes sense to study successful campaigns pulled off by other companies. Not every tactic will be appropriate for your industry or business, but at least you’ll get an understanding of what works. Let’s take a rundown of our favorite SMS and mobile campaigns from recent years…

McDonalds

The fast food behemoth recently launched a ‘Merry Xmas in the Restaurant’ sweepstakes in Italian outlets. Customers could enter the competition while in a restaurant, and stood to win instant prizes. A classic use of short codes printed on packaging, prizes ranged from free mobile content to free burgers. Within five weeks, a million and a half people had participated in the event.

Heineken

In 2011, Heineken introduced a ‘dual screen’ app that allowed fans to interact during soccer games. Predicting outcomes of set pieces and scorelines, trivia questions about teams - StarPlayer awarded points for them all. They even skirted the tricky issue of fans simply looking up trivia answers online by awarding more points for fast answers. The competitive element of the app ensured it was shared across social media, and Heineken gained huge exposure as a result.

Planet Hollywood

The Las Vegas hotel and casino ran an SMS campaign offering prizes to people who opted in to receive messages and upgraded to an A-List Player’s Club  membership. Prizes included free game credits on the floor. The campaign increased membership by 13%.

Kraft

The food company offered new mobile signups a free sample of instant coffee. The campaign resulted in 400,000 requests for samples, and more than 80,000 mobile message opt-in offers.

Adidas

When Adidas launched their Adizero F50 soccer boots, they had all the components of a winning marketing campaign. Top Argentine footballer Lionel Messi was the face of the promotion, and Penn Station in NYC was to form the centerpiece of a dramatic light show. In order to spread the word, Adidas targeted all mobile users within a 3-mile radius of Penn Station during the run-up to the light show. Their ad linked to a promo video describing the event’s location and time. By using an element of mystery, a free show and a famous face, Adidas attracted thousands of spectators to Penn Station.

Arby’s

In 2012, Arby’s used SMS as part of a campaign to raise awareness about global childhood hunger. They partnered with the ‘No Kid Hungry’ campaign, and encouraged users to opt in to their mobile contact list – all while promoting a good cause.

Text marketing really works for these huge brands – and it can work for you too. Get inspired by these success stories, and start your SMS marketing campaign now!

April 01, 2014

What’s So Great About SMS Marketing?

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In mobile circles, it’s well known that more than nine out of ten text messages are opened and read within minutes of receipt. Numerous studies have corroborated this impressive claim, and yet a number of businesses are still to catch on to the potential benefits of a mobile campaign.

The reasons for this vary. In some cases, businesses simply don’t want to try anything new, whether out of fear or corporate apathy. As in life, people tend to stick to what they know – especially if they are older and more set in their ways.

And yet, there are so many advantages to mobile marketing – when compared with other forms of advertising – that it to ignore it could be putting the future health of your company in serious danger. Here are five reasons mobile should be an essential, central part of your overall a strategy:

  1. It’s fast. A text message can be created, delivered, and read much faster than any other form of marketing. Look at the best Twitter and text campaigns to find out how to create engaging content in less than 160 characters, and remember, when it comes to delivering a punchy, memorable brand message, brevity and levity are your friends. Text has both.
  2. It’s cheap. For a small business, the affordability of SMS is one of the chief appeals. Compared with billboards or radio and television advertising, a text campaign gives you a big reach at a fraction of the cost. 
  3. It’s trackable. Keeping an eye on the success of your campaigns will help you figure out where to focus future budgets. With texting, it’s a whole lot easier to track metrics and create a detailed analysis of each campaign’s performance.
  4. It’s direct. Emails are checked once or twice a day at most, and the majority of commercial missives are filtered in one way or another. Text, on the other hand, is a frequently-checked medium, with many users looking at a message as soon as it has arrived.
  5. It’s interactive. Engaging customers is so easy with SMS. Surveys, polls and questionnaires can be sent to thousands of people at the touch of a button. Not only will texting encourage people to visit your social media pages and website, it can provide your business with crucial data on personal preferences and spending habits.

March 23, 2014

Three of the Most Successful Mobile Marketing Campaigns From Around the World

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If you’re embarking on a new mobile strategy for 2014, it pays to look around at success stories from the world of mobile marketing to see how it’s done. Here, we take a look at three of the most successful mobile marketing campaigns ever conducted!

American Express, Foursquare and Austin,TX

In the summer of 2010, Foursquare and American Express teamed up to devise a mobile marketing strategy that would promote customer loyalty for local businesses. The results were launched in Austin during the Spring of 2011. Some 60 local businesses offered Foursquare users a ‘spend $5, save $5’ reciprocal deal – provided they completed the transaction using an AmEx card. This ‘Loyalty Special’ sent push notifications to participants, informing them that they had successfully redeemed the offer. The beauty of this campaign was the seamlessness of the user experience: the special offer happened at exactly the same time as the sale, without the need for further action, effectively closing the loop between consumers’ online and offline behavior.

Aer Lingus

Irish airline Aer Lingus used to rely solely on emails to inform passengers of any flight delays or cancellations. This was far from perfect, only reaching around 10% of passengers. The carrier’s solution? SMS. Within a month of implementing an SMS communication program, Aer Lingus successfully informed 75% of passengers of a problem with a flight, and have since largely avoided shelling out compensation and fielding tricky complaints. This is a classic example of an indirect mobile marketing solution that worked its magic by improving customer service. Word-of-mouth did the rest.

Orange

A great example of a long-running mobile marketing strategy that’s had consistently high results is the partnership between UK cinemas and communications company Orange. Launched in 2003, ‘Orange Wednesdays’ offers 2-for-1 movie tickets to all customers, every single Wednesday. According to research conducted in 2010, Orange had issued 23.5 million freebies to date. Many customers took advantage of the scheme multiple times, and Orange claims to have generated another three million annual ticket sales for movie theaters. The campaign has been an undisputed success, taking Wednesday attendance figures from the lowest to the highest in a few short years.

So take a leaf out of some of these books when you come to devise a mobile strategy. If you offer something of value, get it to the right audience, and improve your customer service using text message technology, there’s not limit to what you can achieve.

February 20, 2014

How to Make Geo-Targeting Work for You

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Geo-targeting or location-based marketing has fast become one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of retailers. This exciting new technology allows businesses to engage with consumers as soon as they – or to be more precise, their smartphone - enters a geo-fenced area close to a store or restaurant.

In the short time it has been available geo-targeting has proved immensely successful, with 58% of major brands employing some version of geo-location strategies during the first quarter of 2013.

Joe Public loves geo-targeting because it sends them relevant in-store offers only when they can actually use them. Businesses are finding increasingly sophisticated ways to use the technology. Some have begun using micro location-based techniques, whereby customers download an app to receive personalized offers as soon as they set foot in the store.

The benefits are patently obvious, and yet not all businesses suitable for geo-targeting have taken advantage. The technology is complex, and beyond the capacity of many small businesses. But there are a variety of ways to use geo-targeting, some of which are easier to implement than others.

One of the most attractive methods to marketers who don’t want to deal with privacy and legal issues is IP targeting, which identifies users based solely on IP address. There is no opt-in required, since the individual is not personally targeted, just the ISP infrastructure of which they are a part. Similarly, cookies provide a broad brush stroke version of geo-location, though they are notoriously inaccurate, being logged in one location before the user moves somewhere else. WiFi triangulation works in the same way, locating users MAC addresses and nearby wireless hotspots.

All of these geo-targeting methodologies have their perks, chief among them the fact that businesses don’t need to seek consent from their audience. To really get the most out of geo-targeting, however, you need to choose a more effective, precise and, yes, consent-based strategy. Location-as-a-service (LaaS) is a cloud based solution, triangulating users locations using mobile phone towers. Laas requires recipients to opt in, as do location-based proximity networks, which provide one of the most accurate forms of geo-targeting there is, capable of locating users within 200-900 feet of the point of sale. Location-based proximity networks are usually favored by malls and large department stores.

For the average retailer, GPS-powered geo-targeting is by far the best option, providing precision data to within a few feet of the mobile device. In most cases, persuading customers to opt-in to receive location-based offers and discounts via GPS is going to generate the biggest ROI. The only tricky part is convincing customers of the usefulness of the technology, whilst reassuring them that their data will not be used for any other purpose.

January 24, 2014

Apple Seeks to Boost Share of Chinese Mobile Market

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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has promised the company’s 763 million Chinese subscribers “great things” in response to repeated calls for larger display screens.

Cook made the promise at China Mobile’s flagship store in Beijing - but he wouldn't go into specifics about Apple's plans for developing a device aimed squarely at one market.

“We never talk about future things,” Cook said. “We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it.”

China Mobile is the world's largest carrier, and Apple hopes to tap their user-base in order dominate the country's smartphone market, which is currently led by Samsung. Three home-grown companies trail Samsung but outsell Apple.

China Mobile could shift 10 million iPhone units this year, according to estimates from industry analysts.  According to China Mobile, pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone stood at around 1 million units on January 15th. 

Apple's slow progress in China has largely been attributed to the relatively high cost of the device. Consumers are opting for smartphones costing as little as $100. Apple hopes to overturn that trend this year, but is facing a major challenge in the shape of their iPhone display, which Chinese consumers insist is too small. Standard practice in China is to use one large-screen device for emails, web browsing and watching video content. Every other fourth-generation smartphone offered by China Mobile boasts a display at least half an inch bigger than Apple's four inch iPhone screen. 

Rumors abound over whether Apple will address those concerns specifically for one marketplace - albeit a huge marketplace. Some expect the company to introduce two larger-screen devices this year in order to pose a real threat to the big domestic hitters. 

 

 

November 11, 2013

How Can My Restaurant Use Mobile Marketing?

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Mobile marketing is a godsend for the restaurant business. Whether you’re running a franchise within a global chain of fast-food outlets, or trying to reach out to locals for a mom ‘n’ pop diner, leveraging the power of smartphones should be a central part of your marketing strategy. Here are the best applications of mobile technology for restaurants:

 

  1. Texting. This is the kicker. Cheap, fast, reliable – bulk texts can fulfill all sorts of dreams you may have for growing your business. You can use texting to send out menu updates, courtesy messages and reservation reminders. Set up an opt-in text list by offering promotions to customers who sign up. What’s the best way to do that? Read on…
  2. Mobile coupons. If you doubt the efficacy of this emerging form of discounting, think on this: mobile coupons have a redemption rate nearly 25% higher than printed internet coupons and around 10 times higher than mail or newspaper distributed coupons! Guess what else? They’re significantly cheaper than any other form of coupon, so if you’re considering getting into the coupon game, there really is no other option.
  3. Geo-fencing. This emergent technology uses GPS to define the geographical boundaries of a specific mobile device. It allows restaurants to trigger texts and emails to that device when it comes inside the boundaries. So if one of your customers is in the area, you can send them special offers based on their favorite dishes.
  4. Surveys and polls. Engage your customers directly by asking them what kinds of combination deals they might be interested in. For instance, would they prefer a lunch deal with two free sides or a starter and a dessert? Send out surveys to get feedback on customer service by asking for star ratings on your latest daily specials.
  5. QR codes. These are ideal for out-of-hours engagement. Set up sign on your store front with a QR code so if hungry customers are constantly walking by when you’re closed, you can think about the possibility of extending your opening hours.

 

Mobile marketing offers so many opportunities for localized, targeted customer engagement. For small restaurants, texting is an affordable way into the mobile marketing revolution, so if you’re hungry for customers, start changing the way you do business today.

July 22, 2013

More Users Opting In for Retail SMS

An interesting article over at MobleMarketingWatch.com reports that more U.K. users are beginning to opt-in for retail-related SMS.

 

More than 7 million people in the United Kingdom may opt-in to retail messaging on their mobile devices by 2015, marking growth of 38% over today.

 

Also, while women are more likely to opt-in for retail, men are still more open to receiving regular messages. One expert says:

 

“Consumers want to feel in control, not spammed in their personal space, so it’s up to retailers to make sure they truly understand how best to reach their followers with a view to turning them into regular shoppers."

 

Is this a sign for an upcoming U.S. trend? Read more about these new findings at MobileMarketingWatch.com!

October 11, 2012

Halloween Marketing Math

According to the National Retail Federation the average American consumer will spend $80 this year on Halloween decorations, constumes and candy. Here's the key quote:

Halloween-marketing"Seven in 10 Americans (71.5%) will get into the haunting Halloween mood, up from 68.6 percent last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history. Consumers are expecting to spend more too; the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8.0 billion."

If you're in retail and you're already using SMS Marketing, these numbers should have you fired up. A given text message that will take pennies to send might lead to $80 in sales. Fire up those Halloween text messaging campaigns now! Haven't added text messaging to your marketing mix? No worries, Club Texting is free to try and getting started takes seconds. Try us now!

June 26, 2012

Mobile Phones Shaking Up Retail World At A 'Remarkable Speed'

Interesting analysis on the intersection of traditional retail and mobile marketing from the other side of the pond:

The retail industry is experiencing a revolution on a par with the introduction of plastic payments in the 1950s or the launch of the internet and e-commerce in the early 1990s. The mobile device, a gadget we check more than 200 times every day, is changing the way we discover and buy products and services.

PayPal predicts that we won't have physical wallets by 2016. Visa Europe predicts that 50% of all its transactions will be made via mobile by 2020, and retailers are already reporting that up to 12% of their traffic comes from mobile channels (eDigitalResearch, May 2011). There is no doubt the market is buzzing with expectation and retailers are starting to catch-on.

Read more at The Guardian.

October 19, 2010

SMS, The Holidays & The Economy

As the holiday season approaches and retailers await recession-strapped consumers, please consider SMS:

Brands and retailers should leverage SMS for the holidays to push private sales, holiday-themed merchandise via coupons, wish lists, mobile commerce-enabled sites and special store hours during this busy time of year.

Approximately 72 percent of American adult consumers send and receive text messages, according to Pew Internet Project. Virtually everyone is text messaging, making it a convenient way for retailers and brands to communicate with consumers.

It would appear that consumers want their mobile coupons to come in the form of text messages:

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Read more analysis @ Mobile Marketer.

Read more about SMS marketing for retail @ Club Texting.

Want to learn more about SMS coupons? Read our Mobile Couponing guide.