Road Work Ahead: How navigating through traffic is a lot like navigating through mobile marketing

According to CNN, Americans across the US were stuck in traffic for 8 billion hours in 2016. A New England commuter, such as myself, came in at around 64 of those hours. No offence CNN, but my traffic stopwatch puts me in at about 10 hours per week, which if my math is correct, is 520 hours per year (sigh), sitting bumper to bumper on I-95 with my fellow commuters. I’m not a traffic analyst but, it doesn’t take one to tell those statistics are slightly off.

Similarly, US marketers devote roughly 16 hours per a 45 hour work week on day-to-day routine marketing tasks such as lists, monitoring social media and creating email campaigns. Which, we can assume the other 29 some hours are spent researching and analyzing the latest and greatest innovations to apply to their marketing strategies, with a majority of strategy being placed on mobile. That’s roughly 1,500 hours per year spent navigating through which marketing methods will give their business or brand optimal results. That’s a lot of time, but seems about right, since the challenge and abundance of ways to market to consumers and businesses today has vastly increased.

Quite frankly, it’s become a traffic nightmare.

If you are a  marketing road warrior like me, then you should relate to what I have to say next.  The rapid adoption of mobile has changed marketing forever. And, if you’re not in the proper lane, you’re going to get stuck, or worse yet, run over. Google reported last November that they will begin ranking  it’s search listing based on mobile content. That’s a pretty clear indicator that if you haven’t jumped on the mobile train, you better start sprinting to catch up. 

We’ve all read the mobilegedon stats; over 90% of consumers use smartphones while shopping, 68% of shoppers research a product via mobile while in-store, and in 2016, mobile investment will account for nearly 55% of digital and almost 19% of total ad spending. My point is, it’s all happening so fast that in our haste to get on board, we could very easily take a wrong turn and end up lost in a confusing pattern of mobile marketing paths that lead to nowhere, instead of clear and concise open lanes that will take your customer to the ultimate destination.

So, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Are you stuck behind a mobile marketing strategy that is not getting you the results you need? Are your proximity mobile campaigns breaking down on the side of the road? Are you constantly wondering which lane you should (or should not) be in? Or, are you switching lanes too much – trying new platforms and software to achieve higher engagement and an improved in-store shopper experience? Regardless of what kind of driver you are, you sometimes need a road map to get you where you want to be.

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to learn the 5 most important tools to put you in the fast lane to mobile marketing success.

1. Product Intelligence

Ask yourself this: What is the point of a mobile campaign that is going to send your consumers to a store that doesn’t have the product you are promoting? Seems pretty obvious, right? However, you would be shocked at the number of companies who don’t know for sure whether their products are in the stores they are targeting. 79% of shoppers enjoy receiving product offers, whether through a mobile app, banner ad or SMS message. Furthermore, 66% of those shoppers prefer to touch, feel and have the opportunity to purchase the product immediately.

The desire is there, but if you do not have the back end product availability data to support that desire, you’re going to get cut off. Here’s an example: if you are putting a push notification for a size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket in front of me on my iPhone with an offer of 20% off if I purchase in-store, you better believe I’m not going to be a happy shopper if I get to that store and that size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket is out of stock. As Beyonce would say, “Boy Bye.”

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor’s Intelligence Platform ingests detailed data on more than 200 million products online and in-store across more than 200,000 brick-and-mortar locations. Through our direct relationships with retailers and other data partners through our connected partner, Nielsen, we can provide the richest product availability data and power a website’s product finder to supplement any mobile campaign. The platform can help you either put the products where they need to be or save money by sending your prospects only to the stores where your promoted products are in-stock.

2. Context Intelligence

Talk with any merchandiser and they will tell you that a shopper’s context can make all the difference in converting a lead to a sale. Things like season, time of day, location, weather, and even traveling patterns are all key factors that must be considered when trying to deliver the right message at the right time to the right place. Without context, audiences get confused as to why you are communicating with them. Think about it like this – you wouldn’t send a push notification to a consumer for 50% off umbrella’s when it’s 82 degrees out with clear skies and no chance of rain. Again, we see many marketers wasting countless amounts of ad dollars on messages that are totally irrelevant and inconvenient to consumers. 70% of mobile users said they allow push notifications. So, let’s push them exactly what they want.

Here’s your roadmap: Through our intelligence platform and an ecosystem of AppNet partners, we collect and catalogue millions of contextual data points through beacons set up in store locations, mobile apps, social media, websites, and online publications. ShopAdvisor’s context data helps marketers and agencies understand the relationship between a shopper’s current context and the products and messaging being delivered. This is critical to sustained user engagement.

3. Shopper Intelligence

Shopper’s today are more connected, and savvier than ever. Think about how much time you spend on your smartphone. Well, chances are your customers are doing the same. The wealth of product information and the myriad ways to consume it have made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to get their share of attention and effectively target their ideal customers. Forget generic demographics. Today, retailers have the capability to examine the rawest behaviors of shoppers through their mobile activity.

Take for instance two shoppers – both female, age 29, moms, living in Idaho and making 50k per year. Though they may seem the same, their shopping habits, preferences, purchase-intent and brand loyalties are a case of apples to oranges. 

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor goes several steps further with its shopper data by capturing signals from the products and brands that consumers directly interact with the most. Our technology is embedded in thousands of mobile apps, thus allowing us to gather deep consumer insights like retailer affinities, brand loyalty, price sensitivity, purchase intent and optimal messaging times. Our data is different in that marketers can not only better target consumers, but can also better personalize the path-to-purchase experience for them and provide mobile interactions that matter.

4. Pre-Campaign Analysis

US marketers spend nearly $182 billion on advertising. Yes, billion. If you thought that was alarming, Bannersnack.com tells us that 54% of users don’t even click banner ads because they don’t trust them.  As my mom used to say, “there goes my money down the drain!” How is it that marketers aren’t putting more emphasis on researching or testing how their campaign will perform or the elements they could be faced with before they drop a whole lot of Benjamin Franklin’s on a digital marketing campaign? All of the strategy in the world can be a total fail if you promote and push shoppers from their beloved smartphones to locations that do not have your product. Their trust in you and your ads could go out the window. If you are not analyzing the way your consumers are researching you or getting to your product ahead of time, then you have definitely hit a roadblock my friend.

Here’s your roadmap: Say you have a particular product that has just hit the shelves and you need the insights to determine where and to what select group you are going to market this product. Last year, we conducted a pre-campaign lift for an internationally known computer software manufacturer to determine which stores carried their brand-spanking new, limited edition product. The product was centered around the release of one of the biggest, and most popular movies to date (think jedi), so the buzz was there. What we found was eye-opening. Out of the pre-targeted 100 locations of 3 big name retail giants, only 1 of the 3 retail stores had 100% availability of that limited edition product. The other 2 retailers showed close to only 50% of in-stock availability. So, without the pre-target analysis, our client would have spent two thirds more ad spend on banner ads that were directing consumers to a retailer that had less than 50% of their product. As you can see, doing your research before really does pay off.

5. Sales Lift Analysis

How do you measure the impact or ROI of your mobile campaigns? CTR, coupon redemption, app downloads, impressions? All are great, but all are generic. How are you identifying which campaigns hit the nail on the head and which ones were a sinking ship? What these basic analytics are missing are how the campaign will affect your customer’s engagement in the long run, what their in-app spend was and how their conversion rates stacked up. Sales lift analysis’ are used to calculate the percentage increase or decrease in each metric for users who received a campaign versus a controlled group. In simpler terms, comparing consumers who received your campaign to a group of consumers who did not receive the campaign to see which group did better.

Here’s your roadmap: With revenue, retention and engagement in mind, implementing a sales lift to your mobile proximity marketing campaign involves us adding a few key elements that Google Analytics just can’t touch. For example,  being able to identify the days of the week and times of those days that purchases occur the most, enables you to turn the dial on your campaigns up or down to match and further maximize your campaign ROI.

So, I ask you again, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Or, are you just a marketer who is looking to block out all of the noise and simplify your mobile marketing strategy? You may not have the answer, and that’s okay, because sometimes we get lost in the sea of tail lights. But, from one road warrior to another, I recommend analyzing your current plan because mobile, like traffic, is not going anywhere. If anything, it’s going to become even more intricate with the new wave of virtual reality. Now is the time to ask yourself, what are you missing in your mobile campaigns? What roadblocks are you hitting along the way? What is stalling you? If you can picture incorporating at least one of the tools mentioned above into your current mobile marketing strategy, then you are already on the right track. You may not become the Jeff Gordon of mobile marketing, but I am confident that you will get to your destination faster than your competitors.

Interested in learning more about the capabilities above? Contact Laura for a demo!