With mobile e-retail site visits up from 2.6% in 2010 to 8.2% in 2011 (Source: IMRG), it’s no wonder that merchants are asking how to make mobile marketing work for them. From an affiliate point of view, the opportunities are endless; with a huge amount of affiliates now offering mobile as an additional purchasing platform, the main difficulty for merchants is to assess which form of mobile marketing will be most effective for their brand.
Vouchercode, cashback, social media and content sites all have the opportunity to provide mobile selling platforms for the merchants they promote. Lee Duddell and David Hawdale recently carried out a study on ‘Why people shop on mobile’ and found that the main reason was purely, ‘because they can’. They found that mobile as a shopping channel produces an unusual experience within the customer journey and therefore opens up new opportunities for purchasing. So what makes these mobile experiences so different?
Why Should Brands Consider Mobile Marketing?
It’s extremely cost effective. The graph below helps to show how low ad spend needs to be for brands to actually take advantage of this channel, whilst securing the audiences that are generated from it.
One key issue for brands thinking about going mobile with affiliate marketing is whether or not their site is optimized and if it has the insight to include affiliate network tracking. These two points are crucial to affiliates promoting the brand in order for them to know that they will be paid for their hard work. There are a number of tools available online for brands to now set-up mobile versions of their sites or create apps for their customers to use; such as MymCart http://www.mymcart.com/ and Onbile http://www.onbile.com/.
Differing Types of Mobile Marketing Affiliates
From my own experience, I would comment that the tailored approach that mobile marketing can offer to consumers is what makes it so different from offline and other online forms of marketing. One voucher code affiliate, VouchChaCha, cleverly provides brands with their own customised and branded version of the VouChaCha application, allowing them to select vouchers that match the profile of their web user base from their network of retailers.
Another popular mobile marketing affiliate, VoucherCloud, currently have over 13,000 retailers using their location specific app. Not only does this app provide consumers with relevant offers within their area, but it also helps brands to get an overview of where their customers are located. This type of marketing helps to make consumers feel that the deals they are receiving are specific and tailored to them.
VoucherCloud along with Quidco, were named within the Sunday Times Top 500 Apps at the beginning of 2012 – a clear indication that these types of affiliates are making their mark within mobile marketing. Quidco also offer their customers the opportunity to check-in to a store and generate cash from being a consumer both offline and online – a fantastic way to achieve brand synergy across both platforms. One user review on their site states, “the app is really good, I like the map showing the deals near you and the check in feature is a great way of earning extra cash”. Again, this helps to reinforce the point of how important the ‘unusual’ customer journey is to a consumer.
Although mobile has been around within affiliate marketing for a while, it’s only recently that it’s full potential and opportunities have begun to be properly realised by brands. In order for merchants to keep up with the customer journeys that are becoming increasingly popular, they should look to see where their brands can fit in within mobile and begin to integrate this into both their online and offline strategies. It’s clear to see that mobile marketing is a platform that will continue to grow and develop alongside the demands that affiliate marketing and consumers make of it and will surely be an exciting one to watch.