Marketing Effectiveness
Optimizing Mobile Effectiveness

Mobile Marketing: CMOs from Macys, RadioShack, Papa Johns and Omni Hotels Weigh In

January 23, 2015

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Marketers sometimes resist the siren call of mobile, but that might soon be impossible. “More than 50% of people are now accessing the web through mobile phones, so clearly you can’t ignore mobile,” says Sanjay Gupta of Allstate, which has been experimenting with homegrown apps like QuickFoto Claim and Digital Locker. With that percentage growing every year, mobile marketing is no longer an optional consideration.

CMOs jumping onto the mobile marketing bandwagon have encountered several puzzles to solve; a mobile campaign has to be user-friendly, fit in with other initiatives, and make sense for the mobile platform as well as the company. Martine Reardon of Macy’s notes that tweaking their app was important, as was addressing user needs: “We’ve recently relaunched our Macy’s mobile app with significant improvements to the user experience and have launched a brand-new Macy’s Image Search app that leverages visual recognition technology to populate search results.”

The path to effective mobile marketing isn’t always clear, but there are a few guidelines that can help you keep going in the right direction. Here are four tips from CMOs who have successfully integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy.

1. Keep Pace with Trends—Martine Reardon, Macy’s:

“We’ve made sure that our mobile media strategy is grounded in a deep understanding of how our customers are engaging with their smartphone and tablet devices. Our customers at Macy’s tend to be quite mobile-centric. To that end, we’ve invested in tactics such as mobile and tablet digital display, SMS, and mobile paid search. We’ve also evaluated mobile usage penetration in cross-device channels like digital audio and social media, and use those insights to drive a mobile-first approach to those channels. We’re also continuing to explore the in-store beacons space. Looking ahead, we see a lot of white space in mobile analytics and attribution, and look forward to developments that will help us better understand the impact of mobile media investment to total omnichannel sales.

Additionally, as innovations in technology or other cultural shifts occur, we look to incorporate those into our events. For example, this year’s Macy’s Fireworks featured the incorporation of never-before-seen effects along the entire span of the Brooklyn Bridge, over the last decade we’ve introduced a Macy’s Parade mobile app, we’ve participated in a live rick-roll at the Parade, and we’ve added a new layer of art to the sky with the introduction of our artists balloons, which have featured works by Jeff Koons, Tim Burton and Takashi Murakami, among others.”

2. Get a Boost from Early Adoption—Jennifer Warren, Current CMO at At Home and Former CMO at RadioShack:

“We use promotional tactics, such as Retail Me Not, to geo-target customers on their mobile devices which have worked well for us. We were also one of the only retailers to immediately begin accepting Apple Pay, and we hope to get learnings and use them to our advantage once more capabilities roll out. We’ve only scratched the surface in our mobile opportunity.”

3. Use the Right Tech to Take the Right Path—Bob Kraut, Papa John’s:

“We run an e-commerce with nearly 50% of sales coming from online–so we have a greater share of customers accessing our brand online than any other pizza brand-that kind of us makes the #1 digital brand. An increasing share of our sales is coming from mobile so we have increased our investment in all- things mobile –advertising, apps, alternative payment and localization. And we are seeing all these initiatives work well for Papa John’s.”

4. Build Your Roadmap on Customer Needs—Tom Santora, Omni Hotels & Resorts:

“With the proliferation of mobile devices, it’s not only important to have a responsive designed website, but also ensure it’s adaptive based on mobile designed sites. More and more consumers are researching and booking using their mobile devices. We are serving up this experience to reach consumers where they are booking. Our mobile is a channel showing great promise and needs to be continuously optimized. We offer the full range of mobile capabilities you’d expect for guests booking accommodations, as well as those who already have a reservation and are checking in.”

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