August 30, 2011
Written by Kate Beasley
Mom and mobile have been synonymous since the beginning of time. In ancient cultures infants were placed in a back pack of sorts and taken along with mom in her daily travels, whether it was working in the rice paddies or hunting food or doing some daily chores, mom was on the go and child was in tow. Life hasn’t changed much for the typical mother. Working big jobs, preparing meals, doing laundry, the list goes on at infinitum (this is not to offend the participatory fathers, simply an illustration of commonality). But where are the children? At day care, school, any number of after school activities ranging from sports to the arts, on a play date, studying and doing homework, again the list is endless with possibilities. Most of which require a chauffeur or maternal participant. Where the children are not, is conveniently located in a back pack to be carried along throughout mothers’ daily travels. What does all of this mean in everyday practical life? More often than not there are many balls in the air simultaneously requiring serious attention to detail in order for none of them to drop.
Slowly but surely, technology is catching up with these moving moms and introducing mobile tricks to this trade which will simplify the process and allow us moms to take a deep breath of calm. Today moms can be in one place, track their children using geo locators (essentially a honing device), attend a parent teacher conference using video conferencing while at work, send a text message asking the kids to take the dog for a walk, check school grades, order dinner to be delivered, email her husband to make sure he remembers to take snack to soccer practice which is ready for pickup at the local market, selected and paid for, and all of this can happen from the convenience of her smartphone!
What does this mean to commerce? How can businesses capture a piece of this market? More importantly, how can a business keep the attention of this ready to spend target? Make it simple, seem-less and satisfying and these moms are sold. This is where mobile marketing comes in. Participating in vicinity check-in opportunities (i.e. entering a shopping district or at a shopping mall), merchants can begin to entice potential customers, also known as deal seeking moms, by reaching them and offering information or deals to bring them to your business. With store front check-in merchants can recognize loyal customers and personally greet them with an instant message or better yet, communicate to the sales staff of the customers’ arrival, name and maybe a specific loyalty status allowing the staff to welcome and greet that customer personally while she is simultaneously receiving an offer on her smartphone which is relevant and pertinent to her life specifically. At point of sale inventory is tracked and stored on her profile, coupons are redeemed and loyalty points are earned, all of which can be communicated and transacted through the store POS and a smartphone. At point of payment merchants are becoming empowered and enabled to take payment through the mobile devices as well. Customer satisfaction check back is what many retail operators’ view as the most valuable piece of the sales and marketing dynamic. Via sms, mms, im, etc. merchants have the power to check back with a customer who has recently made a purchase, ask her for a review of her experience and the product and most importantly, invite her back.
Customer acquisition and retention by creating a process that is personal, convenient, requires minimal time and effort and closes the loop all through the power of mobile technologies, makes mobile moms motivated to keep on moving through the day. Since they are responsible for 67% of retail spend worldwide, I would say merchants to catch up with mom speed and keep her ahead of the ball.
Kate Beasley – Mobile Strategist and Distillery Content Author
Kate Beasley entered the mobile industry with a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience, ranging from the Banking and Finance industry to Retail and Hospitality in Executive roles. For the past 3 years Kate has done very little outside of eat, drink and dream mobility.
As an executive in retail and hospitality marketing and operations Kate spent her time creating new revenue channels, maximizing on existing channels and utilizing the latest and greatest technologies to do so. As smartphones began to make their way into the masses she immediately saw the opportunities mobility could offer and was eager to be part of that creation and integration process.
Kate is currently consulting for three different start-ups all of which are mobile platforms: mobile wallet, mobile healthcare and social mobile.