NGA: Mobile Marketing Not Just for the Big Guys
One of the highlights at the National Grocers Association
annual convention held in Las Vegas this week was the push for mobile marketing.
While an industry observer might expect an event like the National Retail Federation
Annual Conference to feature the latest tech trends, with some definite exceptions
the independent segment of the supermarket industry has never widely been considered
to be at the vanguard of innovation. So, the fact that there was significant
mobile marketing educational programming and even a few exhibitors at the conference
was just short of remarkable.
In terms of content, the NGA show featured a
keynote address by Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association that
included compelling numbers on the current and future impact of mobile technology
on the consumer. Mr. Becker then led a panel of experts from Wakefern, Coca-Cola
and Inmar Promotion Services that focused on mobile marketing for retailers.
panelists gave several examples of how mobile marketing has been effective
and, more interestingly, where it failed. One of the first efforts Wakefern
tried was to send coupons complete with bar codes to mobile users. The company
found that the process became too laborious at the checkout, so the discounts
are now tied to the loyalty card. Coca-Cola sent messages and offers for Diet
Coke and Coke Zero to what the beverage marketer perceived to be the target
audiences — women
for Diet Coke and men for Coke Zero. It was quickly determined their assumptions
on the audience were not entirely accurate and the message needed to be further
customized in order to be relevant to consumers.
The panelists also gave advice
to retailers of all sizes on mobile marketing strategies and tactics. They
suggested starting simple, make the website mobile-enabled, understand that
ROI make take some time and, most importantly, listen to the customer.
Discussion Questions: What can independent retailers do to keep up with larger competitors when it comes to mobile marketing? Do the small guys have any particular advantages they should seek to exploit?