Mobile is an excellent channel to use as a CRM tool, according to panelists at “Mobile Marketing for Agencies and Media Buyers,” an event sponsored by Mobile Marketer and the DMA.
SMS is available on virtually all phones and is the favored vehicle for brands seeking to add a mobile component to their mail and online loyalty programs. Consumers are gravitating to the use of SMS for offers, discounts, coupons and incentives.
“It is only logical to add mobile to your existing loyalty program,” said Jeannette Kocsis, vice president of digital strategy and media at Harte-Hanks.
If a brand already has database, mobile is the way to continue a conversation.
“That conversation is important,” said Gregg Smith, CEO of Acuity Mobile. “If you give information on a brand, sprinkle in an offering in the conversation.”
Every chief marketing officer should know about loyalty programs, the panelists agreed.
“Mobile adds dimensions of time and space,” said Josh Herman, global multichannel marketing innovation leader at Acxiom.
It is important to tie the brands overall marketing strategy into the loyalty program.
Also, it is important to understand who these loyal people are, where they live and what they want. That will help determine what to do with the program.
Also, data capture is important. So it is key to figure out which data to capture.
“There is one big risk factor in mobile marketing,” Mr. Herman said. “The CMO wants a consistent data framework, so mobile needs to be neatly woven into it.”
Getting people to opt-in is the easy part. As long as they are getting some sort of value from it, it shouldn’t be hard to get people to join for rewards.
Opt-ins need to be tracked, as do opt-outs.
Issues of opt-in and out differ between mobile databases and regular ones.
Mr. Smith talked about the fact that Acuity Mobile has been part of some recent press having to do with mobile and privacy.
“We follow CTIA and MMA guidelines and value consumer privacy,” Mr. Smith said. “Mobile is a great medium for advertising and the only way to make consumers see that is by protecting them.”
Acuity Mobile has been featured talking about privacy and being proactive about double-opt-in.
Mr. Herman said we should be learning from other industries, referring to email and SPAM.
“There are two things that are important for loyalty programs,” Mr. Herman said. “The first is no surprises and the second is can the consumer make it stop.”
Just because a person opts out doesn’t mean they don’t want to be your customer.
“If a person opts out, its not that they don’t want to be your customer,” Ms. Kocsis said. “They just don’t want you to be on their phone anymore.
“Just because I opted out of Macy’s loyalty program doesn’t mean I won’t go to the store again and buy something from there.”