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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 30, 2011

Velti: Key to mobile coupon campaigns is to keep them simple

The holiday season is almost upon us and consumers are scanning all types of media for money-saving gift ideas, sometimes quite literally. Mobile will play a big role in Christmas shopping this year and marketers are looking to push coupons via this channel. For some the process of integrating mobile seems daunting but I spoke with Velti USA's Mobile Solutions Manager, Megan Marks, who says the trick is to keep it simple.

by Helen Leggatt

velti logo.pngJuniper Research forecasts that mobile phone coupons will attract 300 million users redeeming $6 billion in value by 2014. It's no surprise, therefore, that marketers are sizing up the channel and many are planning coupon campaigns for the first time during the coming holiday season.

As well as the usual benefits of paper-based coupons mobile coupons are far more convenient. Today most shoppers carry their mobile phone with them at all times and so mobile coupons are always to hand while being very easy to use. To this end redemption rates far exceed other channels averaging 25%-30%.

For businesses that already have a traditional coupon strategy, integrating a mobile element can seem daunting, wrestling with new technology and processes. However, as Velti USA's Mobile Solutions Manager, Megan Marks, explains, the trick is to keep it simple, integrate mobile into existing coupon strategies and test, test, test.

1. Keep it simple

As much as possible integrate mobile coupon activity with existing strategies. Recent research has found that, despite the rise in use of technology on a daily basis by consumers, the primary coupon channels continue to be Sunday newspaper inserts, in-store coupons and direct mail. By utilizing SMS call-to-actions, or perhaps QR codes, within traditional media mobile can easily be integrated into existing campaigns.

2. Don't reinvent the wheel

There is no need for a slew of new processes to bring mobile into the mix. Understand your current redemption tracking process and integrate mobile into this process. For example, if you send unique codes per consumer via other distribution channels, send unique codes via mobile.

3. Test and communicate to develop compelling offers

Unlike print and TV offers, mobile coupons can be produced quickly and cheaply which makes it easy to test offers to find those that make your audience tick. Not only that, mobile enables two-way conversation. "You no longer have to assume what the consumer wants," says Marks, "just ask!"

For example, you can send a text message alert to users asking them to vote on what offer they are most interested in using for their next purchase at your retail location.

4. Keep the conversation going

A coupon is only the beginning. Create ongoing dialog with the consumer by encouraging sign-up. Example "Text COUPON to 510500 to get this offer on your mobile device and sign up for on-going offers right to your phone".

Velti was recently chosen by Subway as its mobile technology partner.

Tags: Christmas, ecommerce, holiday shopping 2011, mobile marketing

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