Every year the pundits seem to declare that this will be the year that mobile really takes off. So has it?
In our 2010 marketer survey, 14% of participants told us they’d spend more on mobile in the coming year – a number that dropped to 10% in this year’s survey. But while mobile continues to take a back seat to the buzzing social media sphere, the growing adoption of smartphones means it’s an area that can’t be ignored.
This is especially true if your brand is one that reaches out to tech lovers and peddles shiny new gadgets.
“The biggest takeaway for us in 2011 was that we had to up our game in mobile,” says Angela Scardillo, VP of marketing and communications, Best Buy Canada.
The first salvo was the launch of iPhone apps for sister brands Future Shop and Best Buy earlier this year, which have been downloaded about 615,000 times so far. The apps allow consumers to engage more deeply with the brand, Scardillo says, obtaining store and product info wherever they are – whether they’re shopping online from home or using the app in-store to scan a product’s QR code for more info.
In early December, Best Buy launched a mobile-optimized website for each brand, customized for smartphones and tablets. As Scardillo points out, not only do the new sites make life easier for consumers, they also make it easier for the brand to target its offers.
“From a marketing perspective, the mobile-optimized site is fantastic because we’re able to see what device and what platform you’re accessing our site on,” she says. “If you have an iPhone 3 and you’re looking at one of our brands’ websites, we can send an ad that says, ‘Hey, did you consider upgrading to an iPhone 4S?’ When you start thinking about technology, we’re selling the tools you’re using to communicate with us – that’s a real benefit for us.”
Best Buy Canada’s increased focus on the digital sphere was also made evident this year by the appointment of dedicated marketing managers for online and social media. The company is wrapping up the year with digital-heavy holiday campaigns that include Best Buy’s Facebook-powered “Pass the Present” (which allows users to send virtual gifts for friends to unwrap) and Future Shop’s “Giftertiser” (a website that lets people create subliminal videos communicating which gadgets they want for Christmas).
Ultimately, Scardillo says, “It’s about harnessing the power of our consumers. For me that’s big.”