Archive for May, 2011

Google’s take on mobile marketing

May 23, 2011

About 8 percent of those surveyed in a Google report admit to using their smartphones to access the Internet while they’re in the shower.

If that doesn’t tell you how powerful mobile marketing can be just read on for more stats from Google’s findings.

Some background: Last month, Google released a report titled “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” that was conducted by Ipsos OTX Media CT, an independent market research firm. (You can download the free report here.)

The study represents 5,013 smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 64, all who’ve said that they use their smartphones to connect to the Internet. Just like social networking, it seems as though consumer mobile usage is on the rise — and here to stay.

Stats to think about:

  • 93 percent of those surveyed use their smartphones at home. Most people consider their smartphones as an extension of their laptops and desktop computers.
  • 72 percent say they’re using their smartphones while doing other things, like watching television (33 percent), and reading the newspaper (22 percent).
  • 43 percent say that if they have to, they’d give up beer just so they could continue using their smartphones for Internet access.

And here’s where it gets interesting for you, dealers:

  • 46 percent of those surveyed use their smartphones to visit retail websites.
  • 53 percent of those who use their smartphones for searches end up making a purchase, whether in-store (40 percent), online (35 percent), and on the smartphone itself (20 percent).
  • 95 percent of smartphone users have used their phones to look up local information. About 61 percent of them have subsequently called, and 59 percent have physically visited the businesses they’ve looked up in their local searches.
  • 79 percent of those surveyed say they’re using their smartphones for shopping-related activities.
  • 74 percent of smartphone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone.
  • 67 percent research a product on their smartphones, then buy it in-store.

So what can you do to make sure you’re on track with your mobile retail efforts?

  • For starters, hop on a smartphone — iPhone, Blackberry, whatever — and cue up your store’s website to see if it’s displaying properly. Are icons too small? Text too confusing and hard to read? If you’re running into these and other problems, you may want to consider investing in designing a mobile shopping app to make it easier for consumers to shop from their phones. This is especially crucial if a chunk of your sales are made online.
  • Advertise with mobile banner ads, etc. The Google report also mentions that 82 percent of those surveyed actually notice ads on their smartphones. Those screens may be small, but that means ads can take up a lot of real estate.

Tips on text-message advertising

May 16, 2011

A recent Internet Retailer article states that 35 percent of consumers who’ve opted to receive promotional text messages from retailers or brands usually end up visiting the stores or websites in question as a result. About 34 percent of those people who visit the store or website redeem the coupons or take advantage of the promotions offered in the store’s text message. (Read that entire article here.)

So while these numbers are pretty enticing, there are a few basic things you need to do before you start blasting your customer base with text messages.

First, make sure your customers actually want to receive the fruits of your mobile-marketing efforts. Let them opt in. If you have a store e-newsletter, send out an email message about it and let them decide whether they want to receive these special text promotions or news announcements. Have your sales associates mention the program during every transaction at the register, and promote it on your social media sites.

Also, choose your texts wisely — the last thing you want is for your opted-in customers to opt out if they perceive you’re merely spamming them instead of sending them awesome deals on service or products. This New York Times article doesn’t recommend texting customers more than five times per month. (The article is also worth a click for its handy mobile marketing tips.)

You can get started by looking into some of the various companies that offer these mobile advertising services. Start here, with this recent Top 10 list of mobile marketing companies.