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Mobile Promotions and Location-Based Marketing

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Cindy Krum explains mobile couponing, digital proximity and location-based marketing, and creating mobile loyalty programs.
This chapter is from the book

One of the best opportunities in mobile marketing is the capability to build brand awareness and goodwill with your target market. Mobile promotions help customers feel appreciated and, thus, feel more loyal to your brand. With the appropriate customer-tracking systems, loyalty programs can be layered in to create an even closer connection between your customers and your brand. This kind of deep connection can help drive sales, but it will also help create brand evangelists who will endorse your brand to all their friends, which is quite powerful. Mobile promotion is also an ingenious way for companies to reach out to their customers and create a mobile presence without creating and maintaining a mobile website.

The most common mobile promotions begin with SMS, MMS, and proximity marketing messages. These can be followed by coupons, discounts, or promotions that are sent directly to the customers' mobile phones. The coupons or discounts can then be redeemed in a variety of ways. After customers have opted in to your mobile communication, loyalty programs can be developed to optimize your customer interaction at the most granular and personal level. This chapter focuses on using SMS, MMS, and location-based marketing to build a list of potential customers who are interested in receiving marketing messages from you. It then details how to drive sales with mobile coupons and promotions, and finally, how to leverage loyalty programs to create a custom communication strategy to reach your most loyal customers.

Introduction to Mobile Promotions

A 2008 study by Jupiter Research estimated that retailers send out nearly three billion mobile coupons per year worldwide. Mobile couponing, or mCoupons, have yet to be widely adopted in the United States, but they have seen much more success in Europe and Asia. In the United States, problems with delivery and redemption are still being worked out. Despite the complications, mobile couponing is a great way to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores.

The goal of mCoupons is basically the same as that of traditional coupons: They should drive revenue by encouraging higher volume and repeat sales. They can also help increase product awareness and move overstocked inventory to make room for new, more valuable products. Mobile couponing can be much more tailored to the needs of the specific consumer and less costly than traditional print coupons. For the user, they are also nice because mobile coupons don't have to be clipped and carried around to be redeemed.

The most important consideration when you are developing mobile couponing strategy is the ease of use for the consumers. If the process for sign-up, delivery, and redemption of a coupon is too complicated or time consuming, users will not participate. To develop an effective mobile couponing strategy you must understand the three elements of mobile couponing: coupon messaging, coupon targeting, and coupon delivery and redemption.

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