Mobile marketing automation is more than small emails

Juha Mattsson

Mobile marketing automation enables new ways of customer engagement

Mobile marketing automation is continuously growing its importance as an effective means for marketing on multiple channels. Two trends are behind this change. First, mobile marketing has dramatically increased its importance as a marketing channel in a short period of time. According to eMarketer, the amount that advertisers are spending in the USA on advertising through smartphones and tablets has increased by 83 % in 2014 compared to 2013. This is largely due to the fact that consumers spend more and more time with their mobile devices, which logically means that mobile has become one of the most powerful channels for marketers.

The second major trend is the rapid growth of marketing technology, including traditional marketing automation. The amount of solution providers and users of marketing automation is growing fast. Simultaneously, the growth of the marketing technology space has led to a diversification of technologies and products available. If you are interested in learning more about the evolving marketing technology space, I recommend you to check out this interesting post by Scott Brinker on the topic.

When you combine these two trends you get mobile marketing automation, right?

Well, traditional marketing automation actually differs quite a bit from mobile marketing automation. The traditional marketing automation is mainly based on one channel – that is, email (please note that we are now talking about communications only, marketing automation solutions include a range of sophisticated features). In addition to this, it often involves a false conception that mobile marketing automation is just “small emails”.

However, mobile marketing automation can mean a diverse set of engagements. In addition to emails, mobile devices enable sending location based SMSs and push notifications, or to automate diverse content, ads, offers, information and other types of personalised “triggers” of buying behavior. These may be triggered in mobile apps, in-store digital signage, or even by pinging store associates for service. Customers still have the possibility of responding to or ignoring these impulses, but these channels enable a quicker and a more frequent response compared to just emails. This makes mobile devices a more effective and interactive channel.

Reaching customers fast and effectively and providing relevant and useful information is the basis for building long-term customer relationships. Mobile marketing automation should be based on understanding the context where the customer receives any automated messaging.

This includes matching the customer’s exact (indoor) location and past communication with them via any channel (mobile/desktop). An example being how many times they have clicked an ad or a link on desktop and whether this activity has resulted in buying a product. Analysing customer behaviour helps to personalise the notifications/messages sent to each customer, thus improving the relevance of their content and optimising the user experience. This again, when executed right, leads to increased customer engagement. Naturally, using indoor location to trigger better shopping experiences requires customers to opt-in for location based services.

How can brick-and-mortar retailers use mobile marketing automation?

A mobile marketing automation solution enables creating in-store experiences that engage customers and activate buying. But how does this take place concretely? Below is a list of the most common ways of mobile marketing automation usage in in-store environments. It should be noticed that all of these require end-users to install the retailer's mobile app on their smartphone.

  • Engage known customers in-store with modern proximity marketing via push notifications and in-app offers based on customers’ earlier buying behaviour and preferences.
  • Display retargeted ads, offers and product information based on customers’ desktop browsing patterns in your e-commerce store.
  • Recommend and promote certain products based on customers’ indoor location.
  • Launch in-store display content for customers who pass by the digital signage.
  • Reward loyal customers in-store based on their loyalty programme score.
  • Activate buying in stores with timely and relevant messaging.

Imagination really sets the limits for delighting customers with great omni-channel service when retailers connect mobile marketing automation to their existing information systems, such as eCommerce platforms and POS systems.

SEE ALSO: In-store ad retargeting will be your next game changer in retail & 3 Essential Building Blocks of In-store Retargeting

Walkbase mobile marketing automation

Walkbase provides an in-store marketing automation platform with the tools for harnessing the potential of mobile marketing. We provide retailers with tools for collecting and analysing data on customer behaviour on different channels, both online and offline. The data is used to create customer profiles that form the basis of personalised messages. The core element of the data is customers’ in-store shopping behavior, such as repeat visits to stores, dwell times and paths. This data is then used in triggering automated marketing. The aim of this is to create experiences that engage customers and activates buying behaviour - but only when highly relevant to the customer.

A mobile app is becoming an increasingly important channel for marketing. Walkbase can provide you with the mobile marketing automation tools that help you reach your customers effectively and shape your marketing in real-time. We provide developers with robust and scalable platform for adding location awareness to smartphone apps. If you are interested to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us.

To learn more about automated and personalised marketing, download our e-book on Modern in-store personalisation.

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Walkbase provides a retail analytics solution for improving the impact of marketing on physical stores and personalising in-store shopping experience.