With the holiday season around the corner and the economy making weak improvements at best, retailers are on the lookout for effective ways to get their customers into stores at the lowest cost. Marketing professionals are likely Googling for new marketing ideas in order to meet the demands of the business and consumers alike. Two of the most talked about marketing mediums today are geosocial networking and mobile coupons. We’ve heard our customers question the effectiveness of both and want to provide some facts on which is more effective in reaching the end consumer.
First of all, lets clarify what “geosocial” networking is. Companies such as Foursquare and Gowalla are offering individuals the ability to notify an entire network of friends and family of his or her location. The benefit to retailers here would be that one consumer could notify others of their location and perhaps also relay information about current promotions or specials. Currently 4 percent of the US population is actually using this social location tool, and on any given day, only 1 percent of the population is actually logged in to this social tool, according to Forrester Research.
Compare this with mobile coupons. The latest research study done by IHL Group and RetailConnections found that over 35 percent of smart phone users have received or redeemed a coupon via a text message. The great thing about mobile coupons is that they are 100 percent permission based, so your customers can decide to take themselves off the list at any time.
Another important thing to consider regarding these marketing mediums is control. A retailer has total control of a specific text message they send out to members’ mobile devices; geosocial networking literally allows your marketing message to be controlled by your consumer’s hands. Through geosocial networking, there is a risk that a consumer might notify their network of bad service or poor product quality in seconds. For consumers on the receiving end of a mobile coupon, control remains primarily with the retailer, and the consumer retains the ability to pass along the message to family and friends.
When deciding where to invest your marketing budget this holiday season, we suggest trying a simple, controlled, and cost effective text message that will result in a positive response from the receiver.
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