January 23, 2013 10:34 pm

Mobile Marketing – “It’s the data, stupid”!

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At the recent NRF Annual Convention & Expo, Howard Schultz the chairman and president of Starbucks, shone a huge light on mobile marketing and its relationship with traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.

“There is a seismic change in consumer behaviour that is linked to technology such as social and mobile platforms,” he said. “The level of investment capability in these new platforms, especially mobile, is mission-critical to our companies. It can’t be an after-thought – that capability needs a front seat at the table.”

Coming from Schultz, this is manna from heaven for those of us who for some time now have been pedaling the importance of mobile marketing to the retail and food service sectors. Traditionally many retailers were too focused on merchandising and slightly outside of the mainstream on digital marketing. This now appears to be changing however, as many are now reinventing how they connect with their customers by utilising new technologies to deliver valuable content and discounts to their mobile phones.

As far as we are concerned however, this shift to technology and mobile should only be the first step in a two step process to fully maximise the profits from the mobile channel. The real rewards will eventually come when this pivot to mobile is married with deep customer insights drawn from the data produced by the mobile connection. Simply engaging mobile will only allow retailers to keep up with the herd, to excel and stay well ahead of the curve they need to analyse the data at every touch point with the consumer.

If your customer has a bad experience and you then send them a large coupon or free product what does that do to their future relationship with you? Do they buy again? Is their purchase frequency better, the same, or worse over the next three months than it was over the three months prior to the bad experience?

If you give a customer a large money off coupon, how does their latency (purchase frequency) change before and after they redeem that coupon? Can you really alter their frequency of purchase by offering them something for free or at a significant discount? How large does that discount have to be? What is the optimum discount amount you should be offering that will maximise ROI based on the margin you give up and the extra profits generated by their increased purchase frequency?

The answers to all these questions lies within the data and can be drawn out through experimentation with your mobile messaging and your customer base. These are the questions that every business owner or mobile marketer with customer transaction data should either know the answer to or want to know the answer to. If they don’t then they are leaving huge profit behind them on the field.

Bill Clinton’s former campaign strategist James Carville famously once said – “It’s the economy, stupid”. At Zinmobi we believe that to fully complete the circle with mobile marketing “It’s the data, stupid” should be the soundbite on every mobile marketers lips.

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