February 24th, 2012

Going Mobile

There’s no denying that the advent of mobile applications and advertisements has led to instant purchasing power for brands and products. That statement may seem to be seasoned with premature notions, but the mobile user has experienced a paradigm shift within this easily accessible space. And marketers are working hard to incorporate a more incentivized approach to affect their target’s purchasing decisions and behaviors. As companies look to position their marketing messages within new apps, pumping premium content into this immediate and personalized medium could result in increased profitability, particularly for African American- and Hispanic-targeted campaigns.

Purchasing power among African Americans is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015 (according to a recent Nielsen report), and marketers may want to turn to this brand-loyal demographic through mobile inducements. With this segment over-indexing in the mobile phone arena, brands should continue to weave in promotional discounts through mobile applications to increase market and wallet share.

Recent demographic data also shows Hispanic preference for mobile advertisements directly correlating with their mobile shopping patterns. According to a recent 2011 Experian Simmons study, Hispanics are twice as likely to be considered “Mobirati.”  This segment encompasses the mobile generation who have grown up as cell phone users and have become heavily dependent upon this device. The younger generations of Hispanic mobile users fall into this category, so marketers are looking to this mobile content consumption base to integrate attractive mobile programs.

As a result of the desire to reach this 20-million-strong consumer base, startup company In-Market launched the world’s first mobile shopper network. In trying to devise ways that brands can drive consumers to stores and down the aisles, this technological hub is leveraging the “hyper targeting” approach in order to drive revenue. Reputable brand giants like Nestle, Kraft and Procter & Gamble have invested in this distinctly undefined journey as well.

Participating brands will enhance the overall mobile user experience by offering timely messages, recipes, instant coupons and redeemable points (that are not brand-specific). In-Market has developed the “Check Point” application for such brands, which will ultimately provide a resourceful outcome to “conversion campaigns.” This type of campaign’s overall objective is to continue to reward the consumer after their purchasing decision.

For example, if I purchase an iPad or a treadmill from my local Walmart store and scan the item once I arrive home, a customized, product-related interaction will display on my phone, coupled with some form of discount or “point” accrual. These redeemable points can also be earned by simply checking in at this particular store as well. Now companies or products are not the only ones making a profit from my purchased item.

This mobile reward-based system could fare relatively well with African Americans, who spend double the amount of time on their cell phone in comparison to the general market. By simply checking in at a particular store and scanning a product, the consumer is gaining relevant content and a reiteration of their value to the brand, which could lead to sustained brand loyalty.

We are merely scratching the surface of what this mobile experience will eventually evolve into, and how it will help to define brands and drive revenue. However, are we doing all that we can as brand ambassadors to lead the way in effectively speaking to our target in this mobile space?

-Michelle Nash