Friday, January 25, 2013

Shopping Apps Strengthen Retailer/Consumer Relationships

It's impossible to ignore the importance of mobile these days, particularly within the realm of shopping and retail. A new study by Adobe shows the extent to which mobile and tablet shopping applications, which most people discover using the app store, on a retailer's website, or via recommendations from friends, can strengthen the relationship between retailers and customers.

Surprisingly, the study finds that apps not only strengthen relationships with those that are already loyal customers, but can also create a connection with those who have little to no awareness of the brand. Alternatively, retailers without mobile apps are often perceived as old fashioned, and caring less about customer service.

Those who may not have time visit a retail location and discern which products a retailer provides will often opt to download the mobile app to find out. This can help create a relationship with a new customer who might be browsing their phone looking for a particular type of product, but has no loyalty to any particular brand yet. Without no mobile presence, retailers will miss out on this frequent opportunity to speak to new audiences.

Shopping apps also offer valuable utility in the areas of price comparison and in-store deals. Geo-tagging technology can send push notifications to consumers who might be nearby particular sales, helping to drive in-store sales and increase brand awareness.    

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vibram Launches "Get Grounded" Contest on Pinterest


Vibram is using Pinterest as the social hub for their "Get Grounded" contest, which asks contestants to engage with images that speak to their personal fitness goals and inspire them to stay fit.  

To enter the contest, participants visit the #GetGrounded board on Vibram's Pinterest page and comment on any photo that motivates them to lead an active lifestyle. They must then re-pin the photo to one of their own boards and include the #GetGrounded hashtag, which has been proliferating across the web on other social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

The contest is just one element of a larger campaign initiative to encourage their community to get outside and stay active. Vibram has also created an inspirational video piece to augment the contest, as seen below.


I think Pinterest is the perfect platform to host this contest due to its functionality and visual nature. Whereas Facebook requires the user to click through a photo album and view user photos and comments separately, the Pinterest interface allows the user to see many photos and their accompanying comments all at once, as shown below. By requiring that the contestant re-pin the photo to their own page, Vibram is also helping to extend the contest to a larger community. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Add "Snapchat" to Your Marketing Lexicon

If you're above the age of 16, you probably aren't familiar with Snapchat. But some experts are speculating the application could be the next big thing in mobile marketing.

Snapchat is a mobile messaging service that allows you to send fellow Snapchat users photo messages that self-destruct after a period of 10 seconds or less. The service has gained major traction since its initial launch in September 2011, and the app receives approximately 50 million snaps a day. It even inspired Facebook to launch a copy-cat app a few weeks ago.

Snapchat's popularity amongst a younger, mobile savvy demographic has recently attracted the attention of marketers. New York frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles made headlines this week as the first brand to conduct a marketing campaign through the service.

Their "Snappy New Year" campaign encouraged the company's Facebook fans to send a Snapchat photo of their frozen yogurt purchase while in the store to the company's Snapchat account. In exchange, participants immediately received a coupon for 16 to 100% off via Snapchat which could then be redeemed at the register. So far the company has shared more than 1,4000 snaps with those engaging with the campaign, according to Ad Age.

Digital media pundits have responded to the campaign with mixed reviews. Some applaud 16 Handles for an effort to connect authentically with its target using a new form of media, while others offer criticism for leveraging the program in its infancy.

Regardless of the app's potential for future growth, I think the 16 handles campaign showed sound strategy in that it reached the company's target at an ideal consumer aperture moment. Snapchat's unique functionality also required immediate action from the user, depriving customers of the opportunity to use the coupon at a later time and therefore delay the purchase.