How mobile marketing works… a little story.

Joan and Clara are out for a girls’ afternoon shopping.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it’s a glorious day to be downtown, perusing all the small shops, the mom and pop stores, and their ilk.

As Joan and Clara stroll down Main Street, Joan’s iPhone vibrates in her pocket, and she takes it out to have a look…

“Half price wine sale at Tom’s Wine Merchant – today ONLY” – whoa! Joan thinks that’s great, since she’s planning to have a few people over for dinner (maybe not Clara and her tiresome husband Thad, but that’s another story) tonight and will want to have at least a couple of bottles on hand when her guests arrive.

Joan and Clara both like wine.

Here’s a clue about how mobile marketing works – it isn’t always about connecting with just one person.  

When Clara sees Joan’s wine offer on her phone, she’s immediately got offer envy.  That’s no problem with a mobile wallet offer, since Joan can (and does) share with Clara, and now Clara’s going to get half price wine for her dinner party tomorrow night (Thad doesn’t care for Joan, so you can see where this is going) for a few friends.

The ladies head into Tom’s Wine and start stocking up.   There’s one small problem here, if you haven’t guessed it – they’ve only just started shopping, so they’ll need the cashier at Tom’s to hold on to their purchases until they’ve finished up and had a bite to eat.  Jenny, the cashier, is cool with that, but she suggests that both ladies should join the wine club to get more great deals and to earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for free wine.  (Yeah, not an issue getting THAT signup)

Tom is a smart guy (you don’t get to be a wine merchant without some intelligence!) and he’s got a small cheese case in the corner – just a sampling of cheeses, really, nothing for sale – and each one is tagged with an ID card that has a QR code and a short URL on it.  These cards offer more info AND a discount at the cheese shop down the way, so of course Joan and Clara add the info cards to their mobile phones.

Gee, I am hungry…

Joan and Clara decide to have some lunch before hitting the cheese shop (don’t want to have to go back to every store to retrieve packages), so they pop over to the center of the shopping area to check out the choices.   Hmmmm, three nice restaurants and four walk up fast casual places.  Joan thinks she’d like some tacos, and Clara is really interested in having a piece of quiche and a salad.

Since it’s Taco Tuesday (yes, how cliche is that?), Joan has a coupon on her phone – 3 tacos for $10, including rice & beans, and a drink.  She’s also tracking her visits on the Taco Tracker, and when she’s made 10 purchases, she’ll get a free weekend breakfast (now that’s a GREAT way to draw people in for some shopping) at any of the fast casual restaurants in the area, since they all participate in the buy 10, get 1 free promo.

Clara isn’t so lucky; she’s never heard of the Breakfast Bonus, but the counter clerk at Fast French tells her all about it, and she decides to add the promo to her mobile phone.  Fast French gets a bit of additional information from her – mobile phone number, and email address – that the rest of the shops won’t get, since they weren’t the originating merchant, and privacy is very important when it comes to dealing with folks.

Taking the loot home…

So Joan and Clara finish their lunch, head over to the cheese shop, and stop by Tom’s to pick up their wine on the way back to their cars.  Wine, cheese, and tacos are by no means the only things that can be marketed with mobile, using location and context, QR codes and short URLs.

Thinking cleverly about how mobile marketing works and using it to your advantage – whether you’re an online coach, a retail merchant or a real estate agent is the smart play.  Customers love to be courted, and providing them with an out of the box experience is what makes a prospect a customer.  And what makes one customer refer another to you.

How’s your mobile marketing strategy look?