'Tis the Time for Mobile Marketers to Grease Gears
Consumers will be expecting tight integration between social and mobile channels, said Kinney Edwards, executive creative director at Tribal Worldwide. "I think you will see continued growth in the use of Pinterest and Instagram. ... I suspect Instagram will have their ad system in place by the holidays. This will hopefully allow them to serve up targeted deals and incentives."
With so much riding on the holiday season for retailers, marketers pull out all the stops. This year, the latest ad technologies are being put to the test in the mobile realm.
Following are some of the ways marketers are juicing up campaigns to deliver topnotch results for the retailers that launch them.
A Space Age Mobile Landing Page
Retailers need to have a landing page optimized for mobile, and they need to prepare for an onslaught of visitors, suggested Chris Kivlehan, vice president of account management at INetU.
"You don't want your website to go down, or you could lose thousands if not millions of dollars," he told CRM Buyer.
Retailers should conduct load tests to simulate the number of users expected during the holiday shopping season, advised Kivlehan. "This will allow you to know if your present infrastructure is up to the task."
If the testing reveals weaknesses, the next step is to go on a search-and-destroy mission to eliminate them before the rush begins. There could be bottlenecks in application performance, for example. Hosting solutions must be able to scale appropriately.
Mobile landing pages also need to be personalized just as much as online landing pages do, Dwight Pitter, SVP of IT at Clarus Marketing Group, told CRM Buyer.
"Retailers want to personalize the experience as much as possible to drive customers to content and promotions that are relevant to their style, browsing behavior and past purchases," he noted.
Responsive design and personalization engines allow retailers to market to mobile devices with as little application footprint as possible, added Pitter.
Once these basics are in place, retailers should optimize their mobile landing pages for geography, hot-selling items and competitors' offerings, Rory Dennis, general manager for North America at Amplience, told the E-Commerce Times.
Make sure the page is equipped with the latest bells and whistles, he added.
"When consumers shop online, they are looking for an experience that's almost identical to what they would receive in-store," said Dennis. "They want to zoom in on a product, rotate it, see color options -- almost as if they were physically holding that product in their hands."
Social Media Linkages
More so than in previous holiday seasons, consumers will be expecting tight integration between social and mobile channels, Kinney Edwards, executive creative director at Tribal Worldwide, told CRM Buyer.
"I think you will see continued growth in the use of Pinterest and Instagram," he predicted. "Both platforms make it easy to capture wish list items, as well as tease up what you're looking for. I suspect Instagram will have their ad system in place by the holidays. This will hopefully allow them to serve up targeted deals and incentives based on a photo's tagged content in your feed."
The next big piece will be understanding a user's level of intent to purchase in context, based on these tags and other data, he added.
Tight integration with CRM is also a must, Tom Cotney, CEO of mBlox, told CRM Buyer.
"High-caliber CRM combined with text and push-based mobile marketing empowers companies to creatively engage people during the holiday season," he said.
"Retailers can use SMS shortcodes to drive mobile app downloads or provide critical decision-making information during store visits," noted Cotney.
"Mobile allows businesses to create sweepstakes, run contests, and incentivize people to do their holiday shopping through apps," he pointed out, "giving them the benefit of getting the perfect gifts for the ones they love while avoiding crowds and long lines at the register."