October 2016

“Offline is the new online” - mobile and location-based marketing in modern retail

It used to be that if you weren’t “in the book”, you were missing out as a business. But now there’s a new reality. If you aren’t correctly featured in location-based search queries and your mobile presence is lacking, you are wasting a huge opportunity. According to Google, 82 per cent of smartphone users say they use their mobile device to find local businesses. So if you don’t feature in that process, you might as well shut up shop.

Driving shoppers back in-store

That’s why this episode of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud “Cloudcast” podcast series, ‘How to boost foot traffic to your stores with mobile and location marketing’, is essential listening for all kinds of retailers: large or small, boutique or chain, family-owned or international brand.

It features Jeff Rohr, CMO of Yext - a location management software company. With a history at Salesforce and ExactTarget, Jeff is described by resident Cloudcast hosts Heike Young and Joel Book - who both know him well - as a “Grade A” guest and someone with a “brilliant and creative mind”. Jeff guides you through the changing landscape of mobile and location-based marketing and how a combination of SEO and beacons have radically transformed the way a local business can bring footfall to its doors.

With the focus in retail on growing online presence in the last twenty years, you would think that traditional bricks and mortar retail was obsolete. Not so! No less than 93 per cent of US retail is done in-store, and while millennials famously enjoy the online shopping experience, they are just as interested in the face-to-face experience. For Jeff, “offline is the new online” as retailers are re-discovering how to use online to drive traffic to their real world presence, and the new marketing opportunities that now exist.

Mobile plays a critical role

Most important to remember of course is that, as Jeff puts it, “there is no greater indication of intent-to-buy than a visit to your store”. According to Jeff, the future retail marketing opportunity is rich in potential when stores combine the following:

  • A solid location-based marketing strategy - leaning on SEO to feature well in those initial mobile-based searches - to ensure you are relevant to those in-the-moment queries.
  • A responsive design mobile experience to ensure a compelling first contact and an accurate and informative presence that renders well on the “in-hand” mobile device.
  • A sophisticated beacon environment, that aids in-store “showroom-ing” AND post-visit social media and email engagement to capture and nurture that initial indication of intent.

But be warned, when it comes to mobile marketing, bluetooth beacons and location-based messaging, in the age of the customer your respect for the customer’s privacy is critical. It is a thread-bare welcome mat that can wear out extremely quickly. So pay careful attention to Jeff’s expert advice about how to navigate the delicate process of using app downloads, vouchers and coupons and permission-based email marketing campaigns to attract your customers and not creep them out.

Make it personal

As with everything else in a best-practice digital marketing strategy, customer journey mapping is essential.You need to understand how each customer will react to your marketing and to personalise the individual experience they have with your brand based on their unique pathway through the various touch points. Location is, as Jeff points out, “fundamental to the customer journey.”

The bottom line is that when we speak about “mobile” we are mainly thinking about mobile devices; but the word obviously also means mobile, as in “moving about”. Jeff’s expertise in using modern digital marketing methods - including cutting edge Internet of things (IoT) techniques with beacons - makes this podcast a one-stop-shop in terms of understanding the very latest in retail marketing strategies.

Listen the podcast today to stay ahead of the game and win your share of the digital shopping foot traffic out there on the streets right now.


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