The Rise of Mobile Coupons

May 30th, 2013

Consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones for shopping purposes. As a result, mobile coupons are one merchandising trend that is on the rise.  In fact, a study by Juniper research predicts the number of mobile coupons redeemed is expected to reach 10 billion this year. Mobile coupons provide many benefits such as driving traffic to the stores and enhancing customer engagement and retention.

 There are a variety of reasons why retailers are interested in offering mobile coupons to their customers. One reason is mobile coupons help drive foot traffic to physical stores. Also, the accessibility of mobile coupons enables an easier redemption process at the store. The mobility capability eliminates the issue and complication of cutting out and keeping track of print coupons. Another reason retailers are in favor of mobile coupons is because they are a great medium for gathering consumer data. The reason being mobile coupons are often received on phones but redeemed offline. The third and most important reason brands prefer mobile coupons is because they help build relationships with customers. Mobile coupons offer consumers discounts that add value to their life and are available right at their fingertips. These coupons are a great way to communicate with consumers and offer a more personable way to do so. The convenience of mobile coupons is another key factor contributing to engagement with the consumer.

 Evidently, there are several benefits of mobile coupons and many reasons why retailers are adopting this trend. By 2014, the number of expected mobile coupon users is predicted to increase to 52.3 million a year (via business insider). Therefore, it is imperative retailers incorporate mobile coupons in their marketing strategy. Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research, stated, “There’s recognition amongst retailers that mobile isn’t just something that they ought to do, it’s something that they have to do if they wish to remain competitive” (via mobile commerce daily).



Managing Different Mobile Messaging Options

May 9th, 2013

There are several options to choose from when it comes to messaging mobile users. These options include SMS, apps, mobile email, and many more. It is important for marketers to choose the best option or options and manage them effectively in order to create a successful mobile strategy.  Sending too many messages across different platforms can sometimes annoy mobile users and therefore drive them away. There are a few things to remember in order to engage the right way with consumers when using mobile messaging.

 One essential thing to remember is consumers are constantly checking their mobile devices for emails, text messages, and other notifications. By limiting the number of messages sent across different platforms, you can avoid information overload. Sending the same message across three different platforms can be irritating for the consumer.  For example, email is one platform that is likely to be ignored because the volume of information can overwhelm users. This issue brings up the importance of being relevant.

 Sending messages that are relevant to the consumer is key for any mobile strategy.  Consumers want to receive messages that are relevant and benefit their lives. To do this, align the options with the user experience on mobile.  SMS is a great option for messaging consumers in real time.  Consumers are able to receive information right away and on-the-go.  SMS is much different than, for example, email messages or app alerts. The user experience on mobile is crucial to consider when deciding what message to send and on what platform.

 Another thing to remember is to manage the ongoing communication with consumers. Mobile communication is interactive and it is important to keep up the engagement with consumers. Marketer must assess what channels are the most successful when communicating with consumers, as well as what types of messages the consumer is interested in receiving. The variety of mobile messaging options available may seem overwhelming, but by implementing them correctly, you can create a successful mobile strategy (via mobile marketer).




Integrating Mobile in Marketing Strategies

April 30th, 2013

With mobile on the rise, it is sensible for marketers to start integrating mobile strategies into their marketing mix.  Traditional media is still prevalent, but the budget for mobile strategies is increasing and will continue to increase in the future. The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, even made a comment recently that mobile is a more important ad medium than TV.

One way to implement a mobile strategy is through SMS text messaging.  According to research, 40% of consumers who opted in to receiving promotional emails from a business are also interested in getting the same type messages through SMS (Responsys).  Promotional messages through text messaging are a more convenient way to reach a target audience than through email.

A more specific look of the types of messages consumers prefer to receive via SMS is as follows:

  • 42% prefer location-based offers
  •  39% like general discounts, offers and deals
  •  37% want to hear about in-store sales and events
  •  42% are into gift guides and product recommendations


As far as ages are concerned, 64% of young adults ages 18-29 prefer to receive location-based offers, compared to 50% of 30-39 year olds and 42% of 40-45 year olds (via business insider).


Another effective mobile marketing strategy is mobile coupons.  The number of coupons redeemed through mobile and tablet devices are expected to reach 1 billion this year (via mobile commerce daily).  That is a 50% increase from last year according to Juniper Research.  Mobile coupons are a great way for retailers to drive traffic to their store and improve customer engagement.  Consequently, mobile coupons are also much easier for consumers to use.

SMS Text messaging and mobile coupons are both great ways to incorporate mobile into a marketing strategy.  As mobile is becoming more popular, it is crucial to start implementing new ways to reach consumers aside from traditional marketing. With all the new technology today, integration is key.




Embracing the Reality of Mobile

April 16th, 2013

Today, most marketers use email, direct mail, TV, and radio in their marketing strategies.  Despite the increasingly popularity of mobile use, marketers are still slow to implement mobile in their marketing campaigns, specifically, mobile text messaging.  Some believe this is because marketers have not embraced this reality that we live in a mobile society.

The astonishing part is that we have lived in a mobile society for quite some time now.  Back in 2009, an article in the New York Times stated, “Mobile text messaging, the same 160-character dispatches first popularized by nimble-fingered teenagers, may be the closest thing in the information-overloaded digital marketing world to a guaranteed read” (via business insider).  Although we have known about the power of text messaging in marketing for over four years now, marketers are still hesitant (via business insider).

Now is the time for marketers who have not implemented a mobile strategy, to do so.  People between the ages of 14 and 18 send an average of 60 text messages a day (via mobile commerce daily).  This generation of tech savvy teens is starting to develop purchasing power and the best way for brands to reach them will be through text messaging.  Juniper Research has predicted that by 2016, business-to-consumer SMS market will overtake person-to-person texting (via mobile commerce daily).  Over the next couple years, the popularity of SMS will continue to rise and dominate mobile marketing.  Research has also shown that while 66 percent of consumers would like to receive offers from their mobile devices, only 23 percent have actually received an offer on their phone.  It is evident text message marketing is a crucial component to a brand’s marketing mix and will continue to be in the future (via mobile commerce daily).



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Digital Media Continues to Grow; Minimizing Traditional Media Buys.

April 2nd, 2013

            Digital plays a crucial role in local advertising in the US.  According to BIA/Kelsey’s March 2013 forecast of US local ad spending, digital marketing will continue to develop.  As more people use and depend on mobile devices, the shift from traditional ads to digital ads will increase.  BIA/Kelsey found that traditional spending will decrease from $109.4 billion in 2012 to $107 billion in 2013 and digital spending will increase from $23 billion in 2012 to $25.7 billion in 2013.

            Although this shift seems minor, BIA/Kelsey predicts digital ad spending will continue to grow in the coming years.  The projected growth in local advertising between 2012 and 2016 is 2.3%, with most of the growth coming from digital media.  Digital media is expected to increase throughout the decade and by 2016 more than one in every four local ad dollars will be spent on digital.  Even though local advertisers are shifting to digital more slowly than advertisers overall, BIA/Kelsey estimates local ad spending on digital will increase over the decade and therefore close the gap.  In 2012 the local market was 19.4% digital and by 2017 the local market is expected to be 27.6% digital (via emarketer).

            One digital marketing strategy, mobile coupons, is part of the reason for this increase in spending for digital.  More consumers are starting to use mobile coupons because they are readily available and convenient to use.  Alex Romanov, founder of iSign Media, projects spending through mobile coupons to grow from $5.4 billion in 2012 to $43 billion by the end of this year.  With dramatic increases such as these, it is easy to see why digital marketing spending is increasing and traditional marketing is falling behind (via mobile commerce daily).



Mobile Location-based Targeting by Advertisers is Skyrocketing

March 14th, 2013

According to a new report from xAd, 95 percent of national advertisers are using some form of location-based targeting for mobile marketing.  There has been a major shift in traditional mobile marketing techniques to location-based marketing.  Location-based marketing has the ability to target specific users based on their precise location.  The ability to reach consumers based on their location is a powerful factor in engaging with mobile audiences.

While standard geo-targeting has the ability to reach consumers based on their zip code or city, geo-precise targeting has the power to identify the consumer’s specific location at a point in time.  Knowing the consumer’s exact location can help the advertiser present information that is relevant to the consumer.  This location-based method was the most popular technique used last year with over 55 percent of campaigns using this form of mobile marketing.  The xAd report shows that campaigns using this mobile location-based technique reduced ad waste by 20 to 30 percent and increased ad performance by up to 60 percent.

Today, most mobile users are constantly on the go exploring for information.  Last year, the top businesses searched were local restaurants, gas stations, transportation and hotels.  Geo-precise targeting enables advertisers to locate consumers in order to find out where they are and what they might be interested in.  Results from the report show that the relevance of location will deliver the highest conversion rates for advertisers (via mobile marketer). 

Contact us to learn about our new Location Based Application for SMS text messaging. 910-344-0300.

Consumers Prefer SMS-based Coupons

February 21st, 2013

With 42.3 percent of consumers preferring SMS-based coupons, mobile coupons are now favored over push notifications and bar code scanning.  A new report from RadiumOne indicates more people are approving the idea of SMS mobile coupons and its popularity is expected to grow even more in the coming year.  The report stated that 51.5 percent of smartphone users prefer showing coupons at the cashier compared to the 23.8 percent of users who prefer scanning-based methods.  Based on these findings, it is seen that people prefer to have control over the mobile coupon process and like the idea of having coupons readily available, right on their mobile devices.

According to recent research from eMarketer, mobile coupon users will increase from 12.3 million in 2010 to 46 million this year.  The researchers even suspect the number to grow to 53 million by next year.  Marketers want to discover how the consumer interacts with their mobile devices and are curious to find out how to deliver the best value in order to meet the consumers’ needs.  The findings show that mobile users value efficiency, utility and ease-of-use when it involves mobile coupons.

There are several different practices and approaches when it comes to using mobile coupons.  RadiumOne found the best practices for mobile coupons include an easy redemption process and customizing offers that are relevant to consumers via SMS text. Survey results also revealed the three most frequently redeemed coupon categories included groceries, retail goods, and food and drink. In fact, 61.9 percent of consumers are redeeming grocery and consumer retail goods-based coupons (via mobile commerce daily).


Creating Effective Multi- Channel SMS Campaigns

January 23rd, 2013

Despite all the attention that other forms of mobile marketing receive, according to a new report by Mogreet,  SMS -based marketing programs continue to grow, with more than 100 percent growth in participation since April 2012. SMS is one of the best traditional mediums marketers can use to reach consumers, allowing companies to build an ongoing dialogue with new and existing customers. Marketers need to understand the importance of providing new, valuable, and interesting content specific to a particular campaign when sending SMS text messages. James Citron, of Morgreet, states “Consumers who opt-in to text marketing programming want to receive something exclusive and valuable in exchange for giving brands permission to engage with them on such a personal device.”

A few things to keep in mind when planning your SMS text messaging strategy:

  • A mobile device is personal and interruptive; as 98% of SMS text messages are opened and read.  With that being said, your message needs to grab the attention of the user and provide immediate value. The messages you send need to be time sensitive, relevant, and provide special offers or interesting content.
  • In addition to providing time sensitive and relevant content, the SMS text message should be an extension of an existing advertising strategy, providing a rich, multi-channel experience to the end user. Include links, video, fun sweepstakes or contests, and engaging content. Links should lead users to mobile-optimized sites and pages.  Remember, SMS text messaging is the most effective marketing medium to elicit consumer response. Having a customer’s mobile phone number is extremely valuable, as mobile coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than mail or newspaper distributed coupons, and 50% of people made a special trip to a store to redeem a mobile coupon. Be sure you provide an integrated experience.
  • Sending too many SMS text messages can lead to opt outs, as can sending too little. If a user opts in to your mobile program and you never send a message, they a. assume it does not work or b. forgot they opted in when you send a message 3 months later & will quickly opt out once you do. Retailers can achieve the lowest unsubscribe rate by sending up to two messages per week during peak seasons (think Holiday) and NO more than 4 messages per month during non-peak seasons (Cellit). You may want to consider an immediate offer to reward users when they sign up to your mobile program; which can be easily accomplished by including a small incentive or coupon in their “thank you” confirmation message.

SMS is ubiquitous on every phone, used by every mobile phone owner, and is not going away. If you do not have a SMS text messaging as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing a huge opportunity to connect with you customers.


Sources:  Mobile Marketing Daily,

Behold the Power of Text Messaging

January 7th, 2013

Text message usage is still on the rise. In fact, according to the latest reports, Americans continue to use text messaging services at record breaking rates. With Americans checking their phone 150 times per day and sending 6.4 billion text messages every 24 hours, the latest data and trends should come as no surprise.

According to the newest figures published from the comScore MobiLens service, apart from actually talking on their phones, mobile subscribers did nothing more frequently with their phones than text. 75.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in the three-month average period ending in November. That’s up 0.3 percentage points since the last report.  Downloaded applications were used by 54.2 percent of subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points), while browsers were used by 52.1 percent, up 0.1 percentage points. (via mobile marketing watch).

Companies should take note. While many brands are focusing on broadcasting trends across social media platforms, many are neglecting a tried and true marketing tactic that could propel them even further: SMS text messaging. While broadcasting may get a brands message out to many people, when it comes to actually reading and engaging with the content, the numbers are shockingly low (For example, 84% of Facebook news stories aren’t viewed, and 88% of emails go unopened). Meanwhile, 98% of text messages are opened, allowing companies to connect directly to customers without being lost in advertising noise.  (via mashable).   75% of smartphone users are interested in receiving offers from companies on their cell phones (YouGov) and mobile offers are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than email or newspaper distributed coupons. Lastly, 50% of people made a special trip to a store to redeem a mobile coupon (Portio Research).

Does this data surprise you? Do you plan on adding a mobile text message strategy to your marketing mix in 2013?


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Texting 911 to become available in 2013

December 14th, 2012

It was announced this week by the FCC that the four major cell phone service providers – Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile – have signed on to allow texts to 911 to be available. While much of this initiative is expected to go into effect next year, nationwide coverage is planned to be available by May 2014.

The thought behind the text to 911 campaign is that the service will be an incredible help to those who can’t physically make a phone call or those who would be putting themselves in danger by trying to speak with someone. Also, for people with no electricity who are trying to save battery, sending a text message doesn’t require nearly as much battery power as making a phone call. For example, during and following Hurricane Sandy, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg gave New Yorkers the ability to send text messages to 311, as a way to free up the city’s phone lines and help emergency responders prioritize needs.

FCC Chariman Julius Genachowski said, “Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century.” The text-to-911 initiative is phase one of Genachowski’s “next-generation-911” proposed campaign. Eventually, the FCC plans to make sending photos and videos to emergency personnel available.

Although text-to-911 will be a great addition to emergency services, it is not meant to be a substitute for actual calling. If possible, the FCC says people should always make a voice call during an emergency.

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