By Dan Slavin
Brand awareness is about first getting consumers to recognize your brand name and logo when they see it, and once that is achieved, getting them to independently recall your brand at the moment they have a need for your product or services.
If done right, mobile marketing provides an excellent channel to build brand awareness.
According to a McKinsey & Company study, 60 percent of consumers perform online research before a purchase, with 40 percent of that research conducted in the store. Here are some ways to leverage that fact and build brand awareness.
The Old Standby: QR codes and promotions
In the past few years, retailers have had success with in-store QR codes directing consumers to specific information. Many retailers refer to this concept as the "endless aisle" whereby they provide an extensive online assortment that is easy for a customer to access while in the store. There has also been success using engaging promotions that lead to the capture of the consumer's email address, phone number, or other information. These methods still work, although there are a number of new ones that are gaining ground. Retailers have seen engagement rates as high as 3-5 percent using these technologies in specific categories such as outdoor, patio, and baby products. Engagement here is defined as the number of people who interacted divided by the number of units sold.
Forrester defines a mobile moment as "the point in time and space when a consumer reaches for their phone to get what they need immediately." An average smartphone user has 150 to 200 mobile moments per day. If you happen to know what a consumer is doing during some of these moments, you can use that to your advantage.
Campari America targeted 21to 34-year-old consumers of liquor while they were in neighborhoods with lots of bars and restaurants. Using a mobile marketing solutions company that places ads in mobile apps, Campari offered consumers $5 off the ride-sharing service Lyft when they checked a score on an app while at a sports bar. The redemption rate was impressive: over 20 percent redeemed the offer. Identify when your target market's mobile moments are and brainstorm how to own some of them.
Make ads more useful than attention-getting
In January 2016, the New York Times reported "according to a Google survey, 51 percent of smartphone owners bought from a different company than they intended on the basis of information found online." That means ads need to have a purpose besides simply being noticeable: they have to help the consumer. Realizing how glued people are to their phones, a major retailer didn't hesitate to encourage consumers to freely interact with them via text messaging to receive coupons, gift cards and even apply for new jobs.
Capitalize on "free"
What do people do with their smartphones in a traffic jam? Or when the power goes out? Or when they are waiting in line at the mall? Capitalize on mobile moments like these to offer something free. Consumers love anything free. "Free" is probably the most overused word in marketing. That's because "free" works. But as the cliché goes, there's no free lunch.
If you want consumers to sign up for a mobile marketing list via text or email, a discount welcome offer like a 2-for-1 deal must be provided. Using this technique, retailers have dramatically increased their opt-in SMS lists. Mobile-based coupons are especially effective. One of our retail clients received 25,000 sign-ups ar day over a three-week span with a 40 percent redemption rate. Holiday periods are opportune times for SMS strategies. During a Labor Day/back to school campaign, a specialty women's retailer managed to attract 165,000 consumers of which 60 percent used the one-time use mobile coupon to make a purchase — a boost of $4 million in sales.
Sign them up
When you've provided a consumer some useful information, invite them to sign up for more. The process for this should be well designed and easy for the consumer, requiring as little input from them as possible to capture their information. For example, if the consumer texts-in to a retailer's shot code and receives a link via SMS that takes them to a web sign-up form, the phone number field should already be populated so they don't have to enter it separately. It should also be unchangeable to keep the consumer from entering the number incorrectly or obtaining multiple welcome offers. After the consumer submits their information, they can opt-in to an SMS marketing list or an email marketing list; they can be issued a welcome offer/digital coupon, a rewards number, or a digital loyalty card; they can even download an app that serves as a mobile engagement platform; or all of the above.
What is most important is that you take consumer intent into account and have a sense of immediacy in delivering information to that consumer. This is akin to handing someone a map at the moment they need to find their way. If you hand them that map, you can put your brand name on it, and next time they need what you sell, they just might think of you first.
Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker, a developer of mobile marketing solutions that enable retailers to deliver digital coupons. Prior to starting CodeBroker, he was CEO of Framework Technologies, a developer of project collaboration software acquired by Centric Software. Before that, he was VP of Open Market and CEO/founder of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in electrical engineering from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org