Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calling the shots? Use the mobile phone.

          Barbara Hagen, the former head of marketing at Target, was speaking at the Mobile Marketing Forum 2011: "We were all familiar with mobile and how good it was to drive in-store traffic. When I think about my target market at Target, they always have their smart phones with them."

          Ms. Hagen said the company had a quarter of a million consumer engagements when it ran a circular on cellphones during the back to school season. "Our challenge was to find and test innovative ways to reach more core customers with promotions and deals," she said.  

          Different customers were served different ads. Some dads got ads for Xbox, some moms got ads for diapers. And the average person was swiping 5.3 times!

         That shouldn't be a surprise. We know we're becoming more and more dependent on our cellphones because, in a way, they're making us more independent. We're not tied to our computers, don't have to worry about being near a land line at a certain time, can get all the information about our next destination while we're enroute, and find out what's offered at a store without going through the door. We can contact out-of-town friends when we have a few moments on the bus.

         That's what makes the mobile phone potentially the best sales promotion medium ever, and the offer can be surgically targeted. The Target promotion got an 18.8% response. Direct mailers consider 3% very good.

         Poor newspapers. Now it has another competitor with superpower capabilities. Their advertising will probably keep taking a nosedive. 

        For us in marketing, it's thrilling to have another way our brand-building efforts can be enhanced.

        Everyone seems to need instant gratification these days, and intensely desires relationships, so mobile marketing will grow and blossom. 

        Want proof? Leave your cellphone at home tomorrow.


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