The “Mobile Value Exchange” and why it works

Our two cents:
This article serves as a good reminder more than a set of best practices to mobile marketers. It’s easy to fall back into the old advertising habits, saying things like “I paid for this media space, I’ll say what I damn well want to.” Nothing could be more costly (or fatal) to brands in the mobile space who take this approach. Instead, what Mihir Shah asks marketers to remember is that the reason mobile is unique is because of the value exchange between brand and customer. Therefore, brands must make certain they create something for the user to “unclock” if they want to succeed. The underlying mobile technologies used to enable this value exchange, e.g., SMS, APPs or display advertising should only be considered after the  brand has figured out what kind of premium content they want to share with their customers.

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SMS-Who’s Really Opting In

From: Tatango

This survey data was commissioned in July and polled consumers on their experience with SMS marketing.The data shows that men are significantly more likely to opt in to SMS campaigns than women — with 57% of male respondents indicating opt-in opposed to just 33% of female respondents.

Can tablets and smartphones create a better in-store experience

Our two cents:

While tablets and mobile devices aren’t relegated to luxury brand retailer experiences, read story on Mazda dealerships they do add an err of sophistication to the overall shopping experience. However, it’s unlikely that the average sales associate is going to significantly boost bottom line sales by sending out personalized text messages to shoppers asking them for appointments. That being said, the idea of a CRM driven strategy using mobile is still valid—when done right. The main thing retailers should keep in mind is that any type of CRM program, whether it be mobile, email or traditional mail, takes several months to foster. So even though mobile maybe hot, it does not guarantee instant success. That comes from good, old-fashioned marketing know how.


From Kayla Hutxler, Luxury Daily
August 22, 2011

Luxury brands can significantly increase their CRM and deepen customer relationships by enabling employees to use mobile devices and applications in-store.

Brands that implement a mobile strategy for their employees have the ability to cater directly to each customer’s needs and increase customer retention.  Mobile is becoming the best way for luxury brands to deliver superior experiences since affluent consumers expect a higher quality of service for the high price-points they are paying.

“Brands should use mobile in the store to help the salespeople collect and use data to create relationships,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of theLuxury Institute, New York.

“Say the store is empty, employees can use the mobile device to send recent customers information and deals and offer to make them an in-store appointment,” he said.

“Every employee with a mobile device can be far more effective at creating customer relationships.”

Check it out
Luxury brands can use mobile in-store in a variety of different ways that increase the salesperson’s ability to better serve each customer.

“The mobile medium is particularly effective when used as an extension of the luxury sales associate that is capable of synchronizing the on-premise and off-premise experience with the brand,” said Scott Forshay, Dallas-based director of mobile strategy atMorpheus Media, a Createthe Group company.

Mobile devices can be effective for checking inventory without leaving the customer’s side and can also allow salespeople to easily order the item to the store or direct the customer to a nearby retailer that has the product in-stock.

By providing employees with detailed product information at their fingertips, they immediately become experts on every luxury good in the store.

In addition, the salesperson can show the interested consumer any videos or campaigns relating to the product.

Mobile apps can allow salespeople to seamlessly make a transaction without having a customer wait on a register line.

Furthermore, mobile devices can allow salespeople to look up a returning customer so that they can access spending habits and offer appropriate product suggestions.

If a customer chooses to share details such as family members and important dates, employees can also cater direct marketing approaches revolving around birthdays and anniversaries.

“Luxury brands, by and large, are highly personalized, deeply consultative and fanatically service-oriented,” Mr. Forshay said.

“Brands should use the mobile medium in ways that accentuate what makes them, by definition, luxurious,” he said. “It is this innovation that luxury shoppers expect from the brands they most covet.”

Lighting the way
Brands such as Nordstrom, Benefit Cosmetics and Burberry along with many luxury hotels are already using the iPad to increase CRM.

For example, luxury department store chain Nordstrom recently revealed plans to start using iPod touch devices to quickly and effectively help customers check-out and find products in-store (see story).

In addition, Benefit Cosmetics is using an in-store-only iPad app that educates users about services and products through videos, reviews and comparisons, as well as serving as an in-store shopping assistant.

Also, Burberry used the iPad in-store to let VIP customers view a livestream of the Fall 2011 runway and immediately pre-order the items (see story).

Furthermore luxury hotels are using the iPad to help with traveler check-in as well as with concierge and in-room services.

The St. Regis hotel in New York’s e-butler app acts as a virtual concierge for hotel guests, allowing them to browse restaurant, shopping and event suggestions as well as make reservations through the app (see story).

Taking it one step further, The Plaza hotel in New York implemented a digital concierge service that allows guests to order room service, book spa appointments, contact a concierge and make dinner reservations through in-room televisions, laptops and iPads (see story).

Overall, mobile usage in-store is all about increasing CRM and providing a luxurious shopping experience.

“CRM is absolutely critical, especially when there is a fear of an economic downturn,” Luxury Institute’s Mr. Pedraza said.

“Companies that have consumer data and the ability to go out there and build a relationship have an advantage over companies that have no data and are going to have to resort to deep discounts,” he said.

Mobile & Social Usage Stats


  • 303 million Americans reported that they own a mobile device (CTIA)
  • 96% of the U.S. Population owns a wireless device (CTIA)
  • 26.6% of U.S. households are mobile-only, meaning that they do not own a landline phone (CTIA)
  • 63.2 million Americans own a smartphone (comScore)
  • 50% of consumers ages 25-34 have smartphones (comScore)
  • 35% of smartphone users access the mobile Internet from their device (comScore)
  • Two-year growth (2008 – 2010) of more than 2,000 percent in mobile-ready web sites. (DotMobi)


  • 82% of consumers have used their mobile phones in a store (Insight Express)
  • 55% percent in a doctor’s office or hospital (Insight Express)
  • 17% during a movie at the theater (Insight Express)
  • 14% while flying on a plane (Insight Express)
  • 7% percent during church service (Insight Express)
  • 17% of mobile users have shown a clerk in a store a picture of a product on their mobile phone
  • 45% of users check their mobile devices first thing in the morning (Insight Express)
  • 1/3 mobile searches have local intent (The Kelsey Group)
  • 1/3 of all mobile users already actively engage with Web content on their mobile phones (comScore)
  • 53% of smartphone users routinely engage in mobile Web browsing activities
  • E-mail represents 41.6% of mobile Internet time for users in the United States (Nielsen)
  • 86% of mobile internet users are using their device while watching TV
  • Average US mobile user spends 2.7 hours socializing per day on a mobile device


  • 8% of total eCommerce sales will come from mobile by 2014 (ABI Research)
  • Mobile coupon users in North America increased more than tenfold in 2010. Triple-digit increases are expected in both 2011 and 2012. (Yankee Group)
  • $2.37 billion of mobile coupon transactions will take place in North America in 2013, up from $5 million in 2010. (Yankee Group)


  • Apple hosts more than 350,000 mobile apps in the Apple App Store
  • Apple offers more than 65,000 iPad apps
  • Currently more than 150,000 apps in the Android Market
  • There were 10.9 billion worldwide app downloads in 2010 (International Data Corp)


  • U.S. mobile advertising spend was estimated at $743.1 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Display mobile advertising spend will reach $334.5 million in total ad spend by the end of 2011, up from $202.5 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Spending for ads delivered via mobile apps in the U.S. will explode from $305 million in 2010 to $685 million in 2011 and more than $8 billion by 2015 (Borrell Associates)
  • Google currently dominates mobile search advertising, with an ad revenue market share of 91.4 percent.
  • 21% of Google’s largest advertisers have a mobile-optimized Web presence. (Google)
  • 47% of mobile application users say they click or tap on mobile ads by mistake more than they do on purpose. (Harris Interactive Survey)
  • Mobile search advertising spend will reach $295.1 million in 2011 (eMarketer)
  • Mobile video advertising spend will reach $50.8 million in 2011, up from $28.3 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Mobile made up 3% of total online advertising budgets in 2010. This number will grow to 5% in 2011. (IDC)
  • Mobile advertising is four-to-five times more effective than online advertising (InsightExpress)
  • iPhone users are more likely to respond to a mobile Web ad than owners of other smartphones. (Luth Research on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association)
  • For smartphone users, seeing a mobile ad triggers a response with 43% of consumers seeing an ad (Luth Research on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association)


  • 65% of consumers have seen a QR code (MGH)
  • 49% Of those respondents who had previously seen a QR code have used one (MGH)
  • 72% of smartphone users would be likely to recall an ad featuring a QR code. (MGH)
  • 35% of U.S. shoppers were interested in using QR codes as shopping tools (In-Store Marketing Institute conducted by Catapult and Ipsos OTX)
  • Among those who were identified as being interested in QR Codes, 87% responded with an interest in using QR codes to gain coupons, deals or discounts. (MGH)
  • 60% of those interested in using QR codes would use them to make a purchase. (MGH)


  • SMS will make up 24% of total U.S. ad spend in 2014, down from 44 percent in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Consumers worldwide will send more than 7 trillion SMS messages in 2011. (ABI Research)
  • 36% respond to ads within text alerts, while only 11 percent responded to display ads on mobile Web sites.
  • The US sends 187.7 billion text messages every month. (CTIA)


  • Mobile video has higher viewer retention than online video, with 94 percent in the first 10 seconds compared to only 81 percent on the PC Internet. (Rhythm NewMedia)
  • The number of U.S. mobile users who watch videos on their devices has increased more than 40 percent year-over-year in both the third and fourth quarters of 2010, ending the year at a grand total of almost 25 million people, according to a mobile video report fromNielsen
  • These consumers watched an average of four hours and 20 minutes of mobile video per month in both the third and fourth quarter of 2010, which equals a 33 percent and 20 percent year-over-year bump in each quarter (Nielsen.)


  • 10.3 million tablet users in 2010 and that number is expected to reach 82.1 million by 2015 (Yahoo Research)
  • Tablet sales will grow to 36% of U.S. PC sales, outselling notebooks/mini-PCs, which are expected to be 32% of overall PC sales (Yahoo Research)
  • iPad users are open to advertising, especially if coupled with an interesting video (49 percent) or interactive features (46 percent) (Yahoo Research)


  • 80 Million Twitter mobile users
  • 200 million Facebook users use the service on their mobile phone (Facebook Blog)
  • 200 million YouTube views per day (YouTube Blog)
  • Women aged 35 – 54 are the most active group in accessing social networks with mobile  (Nielsen)
  • 30% of smartphone owners have accessed social networks via browser (comScore)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Smartphone Owners Access Check-In Services Via their Mobile Device (comScore)

HSN pairs mobile content, commerce with strong results

Even if the HSN isn’t your thing, you have to love this “content to commerce” approach they are taking. Giving shoppers tons of choices on how they not only buy, but how they engage with the content wrapped around those purchases is helping to drive mobile sales, traffic and customer acquisitions.

HSN’s mobile presence includes a mobile Web site and applications across several devices that serve up its TV programming and let users buy the products no matter where they are. “HSN is focused on eliminating the boundaries of how and where people shop and recognizes that mobile is key,” said Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL. “Mobile is our fastest growing revenue stream,” she said. “We’ve already surpassed last year’s revenue in mobile and we are very pleased with how our mobile platforms are taking off. “We’ve seen our mobile site traffic as a big growth area, too.”

Mobile sales
At the core of the HSN’s mobile strategy is the idea of pairing rich content with commerce. For example, users who love food can create their own channel that consists of their favorite food-related content from HSN. The network regularly pushes out updated content. Below the content appears the items for sale that users can purchase from within the app. Items appear in synch with what is being used or discussed in the content.


“Someone watching Wolfgang Puck via the app will have commerce as part of the experience which makes it much more of an immersive experience than a linear e-commerce experience,” Ms. Braff said. One of the ways HSN is looking to improve the mobile experience is by adding greater personalization to its apps and mobile Web site. Sometime this month or in early August, HSN will add a “My Favorites” feature to mobile that will enable users to pick their favorite brands and products.

As a result, HSN will be able to personalize the experience by giving these brands and items more weight within the app or Web site.“Users can also receive notifications and alerts related to the products,” Ms. Braff said. “This is making it easier for people to get what they are looking for, recognizing that time is of the essence when consumers are on a mobile device.”

To further enhance the shopping experience, HSN recently introduced a shopping cart that is shared across devices. The new feature  enables a user to add an item to the shopping cart via their  mobile device and then complete the transaction via a desktop computer, tablet or other device.

Consumer engagement
HSN’s findings from its initial efforts in mobile include that customers like to use mobile in different ways.

“In habits, customers use mobile in two ways – as a second screen that lets them check-out while watching HSN at home or when she’s away from the TV and wants to watch our programming and shop,” Ms. Braff said.

Other learnings from mobile include that users are frequently looking for special deals and what’s on sale via mobile. With this in mind, HSN created a storefront just for the mobile Web site and applications that showcases daily deals and what’s on sale. HSN is also finding that its mobile audience is beginning to evolve now that it has been in the space for a little while.

Initially, HSN’s mobile users consisted mostly of core customers who were migrating to mobile shopping from TV shopping. The benefit of this is that multichannel customers spend more than single channel customers, per Ms. Braff. “More recently, we are finding that many new customers are finding us on mobile – new is growing in mobile,” Ms. Braff said.

Going forward, the shopping network will look to bring HSN Arcade to mobile and tablets in the future. HSN Arcade was launched June 1 and combines shopping, casual gaming and sharing via Facebook.

The company is also taking a close look at mobile advertising and marketing and will release news in this area later this year. “Our overarching strategy for mobile across devices is to make it a fully optimized experience,” Ms. Braff said. “We want to allow users to connect with us whenever and wherever they want,” she said. “It is important to have full distribution across platforms and then work on customizing the experience based on the device itself.”

Mobile Opt-in Best Practices

Best practices necessitate that the SMS campaign should start by abiding to the message frequency they’ve outlined in their call to action.  Telling a consumer/shopper to expect 4 messages per month, then sending 3 in the first 48 hours will sned them running for the nearest proverbial text club exit.  Awaking on a Saturday morning to a text from a business telling them your store is now open late on Mondays isn’t going to win them over either.

A great example of a well executed SMS campaign is that of a Moe’s Southwest Grill location in South Florida.  This Text2VIP client offered a Free Fountain Drink at the point of purchase to acquire nearly 5,000 opt-ins.  They cap their frequency of touches at 4 per month, and always offer something of value.  On July 4th, 2011, this particular Moe’s location offered a burrito, chips, and drink combination at a $3 discount.

Achieving 10% redemption

they drove nearly 500 customers through their door and broke same store sales records for Independence Day.  Most tellingly though, may just be that of the nearly 5,000 messages sent, only one subscriber opted-out of their campaign.  I largely attribute this to the quality of offer, timeliness of delivery, and restraint of messaging frequency.  Not seeing the other 90% redeem an offer on what is generally considered a slow holiday isn’t the end of the world.  Losing the opportunity to market to them again next week because you’ve abused your privilege-that’s another story.

Teens love videos, tolerate ads

by Wayne Friedman, Wednesday, June 8, 2011
MediaPost Publications

Mobile entertainment continues to grow among teens and other young people.

Teenagers 12-17 watch almost twice as much mobile video as other mobile viewers — 7 hours and 13 minutes versus 4 hours and 20 minutes for every one else, according to the Nielsen Company.

Better news for marketers: Nielsen says youngsters are more accepting of mobile ads than older users. Almost 60% say they “always” or “sometimes” look at mobile ads.

As other studies have shown, young people also do a lot more texting and less talking on the phone. In the first quarter, teens 13-17 sent an average of 3,364 mobile texts per month, more than doubling the rate of the next-most active texting user group, 18- to-24-year-olds, who tap out 1,640 texts per month.

Also — as other studies continue to show — teens don’t use their mobile phones for what was assumed to be the primary activity of those devices. Teens talk on their phones on average 515 minutes per month, while their slightly older friends — 18- to-24-year-olds — spend 750 minutes a month talking on the phone.

They also watch less TV than the general population — 23 hours and 41 minutes a week, according to fourth-quarter 2010 survey findings — versus the average American who spends 34 hours and 39 minutes per week with the TV.

They also spend less time on their computers, according to Nielsen — 39 hours and 50 minutes a week, with 5 hours and 26 minutes spent streaming online video. And while they represent just 7.4% of all those who use social networks, almost 80% of all 12- to-17-year-olds visit social networks and blogs.

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