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Macy’s links mobile and TV for real-time engagement

March 12, 2013

Macy’s is using a combination of QR codes, SMS and mobile Web as part of its partnership with NBC’s “Fashion Star” television show to not only give consumers a chance to enter a sweepstakes, but also build up the retailer’s mobile database.

Macy’s is using SMS for a sweepstakes to give one lucky fan a trip to Los Angeles and $1,000 to spend on a shopping spree with Caprice Willard, the Macy’s buyer and show judge who is featured on the fashion reality show. The sweepstakes is part of a bigger campaign from Macy’s to connect with TV viewers via their mobile devices this year.

“The mobile strategy should be consistent with their overall digital marketing strategy,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“Access to a brand’s portal through mobile simply improves the amount of consumer engagement time on the site and allows for better conversion with real time marketing and sales opportunities,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not associated with Macy’s. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Macy’s did not meet press deadline.

Mobile star
Macy’s is building on its involvement from last year with NBC’s fashion reality show.

The TV show is based on giving viewers instant access to the clothes featured on-air, making mobile an ideal marketing medium for Macy’s to use.

Aspiring fashion designers on the show vie for the attention of buyers from Macy’s, Express and Saks. The buyers then bid on the clothes, and the items are rolled out across the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar and digital stores instantly.

A new feature this year lets consumers shop the looks from the show directly after it airs at, which is optimized for smartphones, tablets and PC devices.

Consumers can sign-up for a chance to win the trip and shopping spree via the site.

Additionally, users are encouraged to text the keyword STAR to the short code 62297 to opt-in to receive news about the show, as well as offers from Macy’s.

Consumers will receive three messages or less per week, per the company.

To enter the sweepstakes, consumers can text back the keywords CAPRICE or FASHIONISTA. The sweepstakes will run through May 10.

Calls-to-action that encourage consumers to sign-up for SMS messages are promoted on the campaign’s microsite.

Moreover, QR codes are also being used to drive user participation.

Mobile powerhouse
Macy’s has steadily built up its mobile powerhouse over the past few years by continuing to rely on multiple mobile channels.

For example, the retailer enhanced its iPhone app with Black Friday-specific features that were based on a consumer’s local store. Via the app, consumers were able to find Black Friday specials, create shopping lists and pinpoint where a special can be found in a local store (see story).

Mobile advertising also plays a big role for the retailer.

In August, Macy’s used mobile advertising via a partnership with Spotify to cement back-to-school sales (see story).

In addition to using mobile to increase incremental sales, Macy’s leverages the medium to build loyalty with its users.

“Loyalty programs are a valid and significant method of increasing the average ticket and shop frequency,” Ms. Troutman said.

“The use of mobile in this process with all of the unique benefits will improve customer engagement,” she said. “The key is how a brand harmonizes loyalty with offers.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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