This year we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of mobile marketing companies are using, but it seems like the strategy is still in the process of optimization.
While budgets have increased and mobile efforts have ramped up, consumers remain skeptical on the usefulness of mobile marketing messages. A recent study by Oxygen8 Group revealed that over 40% of polled consumers found that mobile marketing messages were not useful or not relevant.
However, consumers are becoming more open to the idea of sharing their location with retailers. Recent research by Swirl Networks indicates that nearly 4/5 of consumers are willing to share their locations with retailers and be subject to mobile marketing messages, as long as those messages provide enough value.
Furthermore, consumer preferences are shifting away from store employees and more towards their own personal mobile devices. When shopping in-store, shoppers would actually prefer to learn about products, sales, and promotions from their own smartphone (65%) rather than from a store associate (38%).
So what are mobile leaders doing?
Apple recently released the iBeacon, the next step in location-based mobile marketing. When paired with the latest iPhone software and Apple Store app, the iBeacon can provide information to users based on where they are in a particular store, such as a certain department, at the front desk, etc. Already the technology can alert users if their in-store order is ready, give in-store directions, offer promotions, and more.
Although still in its infancy, the iBeacon technology hopes to one day provide a variety of functions that could eventually be used not only in retail stores, but in other situations as well. There are potential applications for public transportation systems, and next year Major League Baseball plans to pair the technology with their own mobile application to provide a unique experience for park visitors.
Location-based and on-demand
Location based programs are quickly gaining popularity – the iBeacon is just one example. The IAB released a survey reporting that along with location services, on-demand technologies and increased consumer tracking are viewed as the most exciting mobile advertising developments.
On-demand content can be retrieved using technologies such as NFC tags and QR codes, and offers a unique position for consumers. While most mobile advertisements are sent directly to the consumer, NFC tags and QR codes allow consumers to choose if and when they access digital content. These are great options for marketers, especially if consumers are not comfortable sharing their location and downloading retailer apps on their smartphones.
Of course, additional and more complex tracking of customers becomes possible as more consumers allow companies access to their mobile location information. However, businesses should be cautious when using personal information for marketing activities due to privacy issues.
Brick and mortar retailers are moving towards mobile payment systems, although they have not caught on with the general population quite yet. However, as discussed in a recent blog about omni-channel retail, businesses believe that over 50% of sales transactions will come from mobile self-checkout in the next 3 years. As mobile (everything) seems to be spreading and increasing at alarming rates, mobile payment systems are no exception, and will be a large part of retail for years to come.
What mobile solutions or applications do you think are noteworthy? Is there anything you would add to the list of mobile up-and-comers? Feel free to leave comments here or chat with us via social, @antvibes.