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I recently read an article in Forbes addressing the question: is it possible that all of the emphasis on ‘newer’ marketing—coping with big data, social media, digital, and predictive analytics—is preventing marketers from getting the basics right? The author, Kimberly A. Whitler, argues that there simply isn’t enough time, money, or resources available to do everything and in an effort to move ahead, marketers are leaving behind the basic fundamentals that create good customer experiences.

Sadly, this is a trend I see far too often, brands spending copious amounts of cash and time trying to predict what future customers want, and chasing the hot new thing. In the process they forget to embrace the value of their current customers and what those people are looking for now. Several years ago, Waterfall commissioned comic book writer/artist Sina Grace to create a comic that, well, illustrates the value of a mobile subscriber and its message rings louder than ever.

The comic follows the story of an electronics retailer store manager and their director of marketing. The store manager noticed his store was suffering from low traffic on Wednesday afternoons and wanted to figure out a way to get more customers in the door. Our hero, Greg Yakuda, the director of marketing at Good Buy, was tasked with finding a solution.

Understanding the difficulty in using their traditional marketing programs for such a specific case in a single branch, Yakuda realized broad marketing wasn’t going to work, it was time to try a more targeted approach. Yakuda realized a solution to their problem could be found by mobilizing their already existing user base. Using SMS, Good Buy was able to reach their current customer base near the specific chain offering discounts during specific times. The campaign resulted in an increase in foot traffic and drastically improved sales for the specific chain, revealing an entirely new way of engaging with their customers.

I think Kimberly Whitler would agree that it’s easier to market to an existing customer than it is to attract a new one via a new channel. The store manager in the comic matches the right offer to the right customer at the right time, and voila, a sale is made.

One thing that has gotten significantly better in the intervening years is the big data and analytics behind mobile list management – the industry’s, and Waterfall’s capabilities in particular. We are now incredibly sophisticated about building those right offer/right time/right customer matrices in real-time, and our clients have seen results in the form of climbing engagement, redemption and response rates.

According to a recent report by Adobe, Black Friday became the first day in retail history to drive over one billion dollars in mobile revenue reaching $1.2 billion, a 33 percent growth from last year. The same report found that mobile is driving the majority of visits to retail websites on Black Friday at 55 percent (45 percent coming from smartphones, 10 percent from tablets), while accounting for 36 percent of sales.

As mobile usage continues to grow and customers look to their mobile devices for information, it’s critical that marketers remember to not get their heads lost in the clouds and get back to the basics of what they hope to achieve. Remember to set a clear goal and plan your marketing methods around the most effective way to achieve that goal. Sometimes that means investing in large data campaigns or simply recognizing the intrinsic value of the customers you already have.

If you’re curious how your organization can use SMS, MMS, push, or wallet, drop us a line at sales@waterfall.com.

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