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Last week we did a webcast on our top ten predictions for 2013, and this Wednesday we’ll host one that unpacks our mobile foundation paper. We’re excited to also have xAd‘s Monica Ho join us to discuss how the company living out the principles examined in the paper.

Sandwiched in between the two webcasts, I participated in one Thursday for Mobile Marketer. The theme was mobile shopping and commerce, and the format involved a round table panel that fired through a series of questions.

We each submitted a few sentences on each topic, then expanded verbally on the broadcast. Mine are below, and the full narrative can be seen in the webcast replay. The rest of the panelists had great insights, and the takeaways overall were rich.

Stay tuned for lots more words, pages, audio and video about all the areas we cover. They’re all off to a bang already in 2013.

What was the biggest surprise this past holiday season for mobile advertising and mobile marketing?

Though shoppers are embracing mobile according to Harris Interactive and IAB, many retailers aren’t there yet. Keynote systems reports under-optimized mobile sites and lackluster app functionality from Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and others.

What did retailers and marketers get right with mobile marketing in the 2012 holidays?

Target fought showrooming head on by initiating a price match program. Any price found on online or mobile will be matched in store. Given that the heart of showrooming is price sensitivity, this is a great way to battle it, while driving in-store sales.

Retailers and brands that took full advantage of mobile during the holiday season?

I commend retailers that developed their own point solutions or worked with third parties. Examples are Best Buy, Target, and others working with shopkick, or Walgreens and others adopting Apple Passbook. There’s a lot more innovation to come from these players.

Popular holiday mobile marketing strategies to drive mobile commerce sales. Tactics and channels that work and do not work

Mobile commerce is fine. But like e-commerce it is a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 trillion spent on offline retail. Shoot for the larger target of driving conversions offline. That also happens to be where uses are carrying their devices (tablets notwithstanding).

The role of showrooming and price comparison this holiday season

Showrooming is retailers’ game to lose because they have customers under their roofs with the benefit of proximity and cross promotion. If they can’t come up with point solutions to beat showrooming at its own game, they deserve to lose.

Lessons learned from 2012

Retail is inherently local. Mobile intent is also locally oriented. Save branding objectives for television or print; mobile is your chance to drive actual conversions, and drive people (literally) into your store. Build campaigns and calls-to-action accordingly.

Best Practice Tips

To align campaigns with users’ local intent, don’t just geotarget ad placement. Localize in a more holistic way: Include calls to action like store locators or even inventory. Creative should likewise mirror mobile users’ lower-funnel mindset.

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