By Paul Parreira, founder and director, Company Cue
More than 3.4 billion people have smartphones today according to Ericsson’s Mobility Report [November 2015]. If this rate of adoption continues, that’ll be a staggering 6.4 billion by 2021, just five short years from today. With direct access to so many people, mobile has become the most transformative technology for marketers to reach consumers, ever.
Using geolocating technology such as beacons or Bluetooth, more brands are moving towards creating hyper-personalised marketing content for mobile. Tapping into a mobile user’s location and device, marketers are able to drive greater interest and increase footfall, showing that more and more customers are actually starting to like targeted content.
The struggle for marketers is now figuring out how to craft highly personalised content that caters specifically to the desired customer without appearing too invasive.
The reality is that consumers and brand loyalists still enjoy the physical brick-and-mortar retail experience. Whether it’s trying on a pair of jeans or comparing the scents of soaps, shopping still excites and fulfills a therapeutic need.
Now that we’re a few years into the e-commerce experience, we have a good sense of what is missing from online shopping, as well as the emotional needs that are fulfilled by going into a store. Customers still crave the physical environment of a shop, so why not enhance it by giving them tools that can upgrade that experience?
The younger generation of mobile device users seems more accepting of hyper-local brand marketing. By this I mean those currently in high school, college or recent grads, those who actually use location check-in tools like Swarm or Facebook for social engagement purposes. They don’t mind receiving offers that have been created specifically for them based on information gleaned from their location or previous conversations.
Beyond beacon and location technology, hands-free payment methods available through Apple Wallet and Google Pay are increasingly popular platforms for marketing offers to the customer at point of purchase.
The incorporation of coupons and map-driven offerings into these services will be the means to entice consumers in the future. Imagine walking into your favorite shop and having the ability to see what is on sale, what is fresh and new, and then being able to buy it without even taking out your wallet. It’s a retail experience unlike anything our parents ever imagined.
Customers are choosing to communicate more with brands that utilise data from their own feedback and turn it into a personalised offering. But to actually add value, the data collected must be used to deliver an engaging, individual customer experience during which the consumer still feels in control of the notifications they receive.
So, how can you use personalised experiences to influence customers, but still empower the customer to feel in control? If you are pushing messages to the customer’s smartphone and collecting data, did you clearly communicate how they choose to opt-in and what the benefit is? More importantly, did you give them the choice to set their content preferences?
It’s important that you establish trust with your customers and avoid catching them off guard, which could make them feel like their privacy has been violated. Asking which information they feel comfortable sharing with the brand is much clearer and seems more upfront.
As you get ready to create your content, remember it’s not about demonstrating to the customer how much you know about them; it’s about using that insight to offer value that’s relevant to them and what they’re trying to do.
This is the future of retail. Geolocation data is becoming a vital marketing tool for brands. By exploiting the technology’s full capabilities, marketers will never again need to make assumptions based on who their target audience is and where they are located; they will have all the insight required to know the answers.
Company Cue helps businesses accelerate their supply of original content and programming by tapping into local teams of content experts through the firm’s network of dedicated freelancers worldwide.