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87pc of Auntie Anne’s, Coca-Cola campaign users saved promotion for later: Sparkfly exec

May 13, 2013

NEW YORK – A Sparkfly executive at the 2013 MMA Forum said that a mobile advertising campaign last year with Auntie Anne’s, Coca-Cola and Millennial Media resulted in a majority of participants choosing to save an offer for later redemption rather than using it on the spot.

Executives from Sparkfly, Kantar Retail, Vibes and Inmar spoke about some of the emerging mobile payments trends – specifically with Apple’s Passbook – during the “Mobile Wallets Redefined and this Impact of Apple’s Passbook” session. The session also presented case study examples for attendees.

“We ran a program back last year with our partnership with Millennial Media, Coca-Cola and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, and what we were able to do was put a promotion out through Millennial that a consumer could have the opportunity to either use that promotion immediately once it was received or they could save that promotion for later,” said Catherine Tabor, chief executive officer at Sparkfly, Atlanta.

“What we found was 87 percent of the participants in the program actually saved that promotion for later,” she said.

“You would kind of think right offer, right place, but it’s a good opportunity with Passbook that you have this repository place to save those promotions for later, and I also think that it’s fantastic that you can begin to build the profile of a consumer and understand that consumer behavior across multiple channels – not just within a loyalty program or within that internal CRM.”

Mobile opportunity
Consumers who picked to save the offer in the Coca-Cola and Auntie Anne’s campaign were sent an SMS message with a link to the offer in it.

According to Ms. Tabor, one of the biggest opportunities in mobile is with external CRM. Digital ad networks, social networks and third-party apps can all be used to track attribution for marketers and coupon redemption.

The challenge for marketers is to turn anonymous consumers into loyal consumers via data.

Brands have their own loyal followers and customers, and there is an opportunity to take those fans and pull them through a retail experience.

“What I’m seeing is more collaboration than in the past, and I think it’s because there is this opportunity to grow that loyal customer base exponentially if you can have an opportunity to reach out to an anonymous world and begin to pool those consumers into loyalty or frequency, or bring them in with a promotion that unlocks some amazing content from the brand or some special experience from the retailer,” Ms. Tabor said.

Mobile game-changer
Apple’s Passbook is a game-changer for mobile marketing, according to Jack Philbin, cofounder, president and CEO of Vibes, Chicago.

Compared to other mobile wallets on the market, what makes Passbook stand out is its storage and convenience factors.

Vibes recently ran a beta program with Passbook across different retailers including Sears, Texas Road House and Build-A-Bear. The majority of distribution for the programs was through SMS.

Aggregate data from the program found that click-through rates ranged from 3 – 18 percent on the link that let consumers load the pass onto their mobile devices.

Additionally, one of the more interesting findings from the beta program is that 87 – 96 percent of the consumers who installed a pass redeemed an offer after it expired. This shows the perpetual presence that a pass creates on a mobile device.

Per Mr. Philbin, there are three things that make for a successful Passbook program – distribution, reach and management.

“Passbook is really about storage and about convenience, and the analogy we use is that Passbook is like the leather of the wallet, whereas when you think about Google Wallet, it’s more of the transaction and payment side of the wallet,” Mr. Philbin said.

“Think of Passbook as lightweight apps – not going into the app where you have to go a few clicks to find something to pay with,” he said.

“Really [it is] the ability to have something right there [in] one swipe where it’s conveniently there.”

However, some marketers believe that marketers need to think of Passbook as more than a storage place for offers and deals.

According to Steve Ibach, vice president of digital partnerships at Inmar, Winston-Salem, NC, marketers need to use mobile wallets and payments to build longer forms of engagement.

Both Google Wallet and Passbook help bridge the gap in engagement between retailers and brands with their consumers.

For example, an airline could use data to create additional offers at a grocery store in the consumer’s destination city via the same pass that the brand uses as a boarding pass.

“I would encourage you to extend the metaphor around the idea of a container – that Passbook really is the opportunity to be a trusted platform that is engaging not only the carrier, but the brand, the retailer, the payment platform, etc,” Mr. Ibach said.

“When you do engagement or a program that works specifically with brands and retailers on Passbook, on Google Now or on Google Wallet, how can you create a complete experience for the consumer that extends well beyond putting a pass inside a container and enabling a transaction,” he said.

Final Take
Jack Philbin is cofounder, president and CEO of Vibes, Chicago

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