June 21, 2012

Make Mobile Merry: Planning Your Holiday Mobile Strategy

by Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

The holidays… the time when friends who are dear to us will be near to us once more… and the time when completing your gift list can be as much fun as receiving a rock-hard fruit cake. Email volume is cranked to 11 and reaching your customers in the mountain of marketing messages can be a challenge.

Incorporating mobile strategies this holiday season can provide another way to promote your brand while giving your customers added values such as exclusive deals or store event alerts.

Mobile Subscriber Acquisition

Off Saks 5th Avenue - Mobile Acquisition

During the holiday season, SMS messages can be used to alert subscribers about the start of a promotion, offer exclusive promotional codes, or store-specific hours, locations, and events.  While much of this information may be included in your email messages, the convenience of subscribers receiving this information on their mobile device while on-the-go can help your brand stay top of mind while they are out shopping.  Launching SMS subscriber acquisition efforts later in the season can distract from your promotional messages so aim to build your SMS list earlier in the season.  Here are 16 Ways to Grow Your Mobile Subscriber List, that you should implement sooner than later to have a strong mobile base before the holiday season.

Mobile Apps

Toys

Mobile applications may be more of a challenge to develop and maintain during the holiday season, however the value to both the marketer and the consumer should not be ignored. According to Adobe’s “Digital Marketing Insights” report, tablet users spent 50% more than smartphone users and 20% more than those on traditional computers.  While shopping within an app can be convenient, a mobile app can also provide an opportunity to engage shoppers in other ways like this "Take 'Us' With You Anywhere" example from Toys”R”Us sent early in the season and promoting deals, alerts, shopping functionality, games, and social links.

QR Codes

QR codes can really polarize a marketing team.  Love them or hate them, they can be used effectively especially during the holiday season when it can be a challenge for store employees to be available to all customers or when you are not able to include purchase-influencing data, such as product specifications or user reviews, on a printed piece.  A few areas to consider are:

  • In-Store: Link QR codes to your gift guide, email subscription forms, and to help decrease showrooming, product pages on your site. 
  • Social & Email: What information do you want in your customer’s pocket when they step away from their computer?  Point QR codes to information such as store hours, locations, or coupons that can be redeemed in-store to help make your message portable.
  • Anything Printed: Make sure your printed pieces use QR codes to enhance the experience of interacting with a catalog or store signage.  Create scan-to-call QR codes that can link your customers directly to your customer service team.

Be sure to check out the 7 Best Practices for QR Code Success before diving in.

The idea that launching a mobile program will require a ton of time, resources and technology is outdated.  Start exploring mobile opportunities today so you are positioned for success during the holiday season.  Don't wait until the last minute to plan your mobile marketing plan!

Jim Davidson
Manager of Marketing Research

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Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

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