I have been bombarded with companies selling me on the merits and benefits of Mobile Marketing. The main focus is sending out texts with coupons and deals to people in the vicinity. Some of these companies are offering me packages less than $20/week. Others want me to commit to thousands a month. They have the statistics that show they will bring me gold.
"Lies, damned lies, and statistics." -Mark Twain
Kids Today magazine just had an article this month with even more statistics on mobile that I found quite enlightening and worth exploring deeper.
Here is the first statistic from the article:
"According to the latest data from comStore, overall mobile purchasing accounted for 11% of e-commerce spending in 2013."
E-commerce spending, depending on your source, is anywhere from 3% to 10% of all retail purchases, so mobile purchasing is anywhere from 0.3% to 1.1% of all retail purchases. Before you drop a load of your advertising budget on mobile, keep that in mind. Shopping on their phone is an incredibly small percentage of all retail sales.
But what about coupons they get on their phones and then bring into the store?
Here is the second statistic:
"Nine out of ten moms take notice of advertisements on their smartphones. One-quarter clicked to get a coupon after receiving a mobile ad and 15% of moms clicked on the ad to go to the website."
In other words, almost all of the moms saw the ads, but 75% of the moms did not take the bait, 85% of the moms were not enticed to go to the website. Now, don't get me wrong. Twenty-five percent is still a pretty good click-thru rate. But remember who is clicking - the Transactional Customer - the mom who believes she is the expert on the product and knows more about it than you do. These moms are loyal to one thing only - the deal. They have no loyalty to your store and only buy from you when you have a sale.
But aren't all moms all about the price?
Here is the third statistic:
"More than half the moms, 53%, say coupons are appealing in a mobile ad; while 23% want a deal that is located nearby."
Once again proof that roughly half the population in any category, including the technologically savvy new moms, is interested in the deal (Transactional Customers) and the other half is more interested in the trust factors (Relational Customers).
When you plot out your strategy, decide which customer you want to attract and proceed accordingly. While your competitors go after that 53%, remember that there is a lot of business to be done with the 47% who don't find coupons on their phones appealing.
PS Don't think of me as anti-technology. Smartphones are here to stay. You need a website and it needs to be optimized for mobile. You need social media as one part of your relationship-building portfolio with your customer base - and many moms are using their smartphones as their primary tool for social media. You also need to be smart about where and how you spend your money. Your most loyal customers are not loyal because of your coupons, they are loyal because they trust you. Before you buy a mobile marketing plan, make sure you've put enough effort into building that trust and that the mobile plan reinforces that trust, not undermines it.