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Can Collaboration Shore Up Brick-and-Mortar Retail?

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Brick-and-mortar retailers often gripe that they are at a competitive disadvantage against online retailers because of their relative inability to map a more complete view of who their customers are and their traffic, browsing and purchasing behavior.

As malls, department stores and other retailers struggle to drive traffic, some players are considering sharing data.

Mall developer Westfield, the owner of 35 shopping centers, is seeking to persuade retailers, brands and even competing malls to share data such as what consumers have just bought to allow partners/rivals to better target potential customers for related sales.

“In order for us to be successful we have to collaborate across different partners and partner with competitors too,” said Lindsey Thomas, who heads marketing at Westfield’s newly rebranded OneMarket unit, formerly known as Westfield Retail Solutions. “Seamless integration is what we are preaching. If you want to get a well-rounded view of consumers, you need to know the ins and outs about the consumer.”

Data sharing isn’t the only mission of this OneMarket network. The idea is also to get the participants to invest in tech initiatives from natural language to AI, with the goal of becoming more competitive with digital leaders and keeping up with consumer expectations.

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Obsessed Much? Mobile Addiction Is Real

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

It seems like many people can’t put down their smartphones. And a study from Deloitte, conducted by Ipsos MORI, found that to be the case.

According to the survey, which polled 2,000 US internet users ages 18 to 75, most people check their device approximately 47 times per day. And younger users? Well, they tend to check it with a significantly higher frequency—roughly 86 times a day. That’s an increase from the 82 times per day reported in 2016.

Meanwhile, nearly nine in 10 respondents said they check their phone within an hour of waking up in the morning, and almost as many do so right before they go to sleep. According to Deloitte, these patterns of usage have been consistent over the years.

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The Basics of SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing – The Basics

By | BC Buzz | No Comments

By: Vivian Pham, Director of Marketing and Client Services for Blue Calypso

There are endless benefits of SMS Marketing. It’s easy, highly customizable, and extremely effective. SMS Marketing can be a very powerful tool to cut through all the noise and reach consumers directly.

These days, nearly everyone owns a phone and knows how to text message which makes text messaging one of the most convenient and widely used communication channels. Because of this, SMS marketing has one of the highest open and engagement rates than any other form of marketing. 

Yes, it’s a simple enough concept, but here at Blue Calypso we believe it’s important to know the basics before getting started. That’s why we’ve broken down some basic knowledge and terminology associated with SMS Marketing below:

What is an SMS ‘Short Code’?

An SMS Short Code is essentially just a shortened phone number that is used strictly to send and receive SMS/MMS messages. Carriers issue and control them and although they are usually only 5-6 digits, they can also come in 4-10 digit numbers as well. Most short codes are assigned at random and cannot be reviewed in advance.

What is a Vanity Code?

Many brands may choose to purchase a “vanity code” which are subject to availability and can take several months to get approved. They are also significantly more expensive. A “Vanity Code” is a specific number that is chosen by the brand as opposed to being assigned at random. Vanity codes are usually chosen because they are easier to remember. For example, a brand may choose the vanity code 75268 because it spells “PLANT” on the keypad of a phone.

What is a Long Code?

A long code is an actual 10-digit phone number that is SMS enabled and used to send and receive SMS/MMS messages.

What is an SMS Keyword?

An SMS Keyword is a word or phrase sent in a text message to a specific SMS Short or Long Code to initiate engagement with that brand. These SMS keywords indicate to the brand what SMS marketing program a user is trying to interact with. For example, a brand could invite customers to text an SMS keyword to that brand’s short code to receive updates, coupons, information, notifications on events or promotions, etc…

What is an Auto-reply?

An auto-reply is a customizable text message that is automatically sent back to a subscriber when they’ve texted an SMS keyword to a brand’s Short or Long Code. Auto replies are usually sent to deliver campaign-specific content or to confirm that a user has opted in to receive future text messages.

What is Text Message Spam?

According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Text Message Spam is any unwanted or unsolicited SMS marketing messages sent to a user who never opted-in or who has selected to opt out/unsubscribe. This is regulated by the FCC and violation of the TCPA is a serious matter. Statutory damages start at $500 per violation (text/call), with the potential of going as high as $1,500 per violation. Penalties vary case by case and can also result in immediate registry suspension or termination<CTIA>. 

Have Questions?

If you have any additional questions on SMS Marketing and how your business can benefit from mobile engagement, feel free to contact us any time for a free consultation.

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The Cost of Acquiring a Mobile App User

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Getting a first-time user to install an app isn’t easy. And getting that user to make a purchase within the app is even harder—and a lot costlier.

In fact, mobile app marketing and retargeting company Liftoff analyzed user data for a year, and found that the average cost to acquire a user who makes a purchase via an app is $64.96.

Mobile App Benchmarks Worldwide: Average User Acquisition Costs, by User Action and OS, Sep 1, 2016-Aug 30, 2017 (among app installs tracked by Liftoff)

That’s significantly higher than the cost of getting someone to install an app, at $4.12, as well as getting a first-time user to create an account via an app, at an average cost of $8.21.

And getting a user to buy something within the app, or subscribe to a paid service? Better open up that wallet. For example, Liftoff found that the average cost to acquire an app user who makes an in-app purchase—like game content—is $76.40.

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Many Retailers Lag in Customer Engagement Technology Adoption

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Most retailers have not implemented a host of key ecommerce and in-store technologies that support a seamless, convenient, omnichannel customer experience, according to the latest edition of the Customer Engagement Tech Trends study from RIS and International Data Corp. (IDC).

The study, based on a survey of 65 North American retail executives, found that even for relatively common technologies such as “email, mobile, text marketing/messaging,” less than half of the respondents said their companies currently have up-to-date tech in place.

The study found similar levels of savvy with in-store technologies. Barely half of the retailers said they are up-to-date with customer Wi-Fi, and less than one-quarter said the same of in-store pickup and returns for digital orders.

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Separating Mobile Leaders From The Laggards

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Let’s give a round of applause to brands like Best Buy, Patagonia, and Kohl’s, which are really getting mobile right.

As outlined in by L2’s latest Intelligence report, these guys are matching strong investments in content and commerce with aggressive mobile marketing initiatives.

They’re regularly incorporating deep links in mobile search results, deploying strong mobile creative, and executing sophisticated content features effectively on mobile sites and apps.

Their store locators not only guide customers to brick-and-mortar locations, but also promote omnichannel services — thus successfully using mobile as a conduit to support e-commerce and in-store shoppers alike.

To benchmark mobile strategies holistically, L2 plots brands on a two-dimensional grid based on the performance of their mobile content (including mobile sites and apps), and their marketing investments (including email, search, and display).

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NFC is the Key to Hybrid Physical Digital Marketing

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Once upon a time, retail stores tried to get our attention with special displays, signs and stickers, but now they can tap into the power of IoT to communicate a lot more than just “New!” or “Special!” The smartphones we carry can convey marketing messages built into the displays or even the product themselves with just a tap.

Flonase®   has deployed Thinfilm’s SpeedTap™ tags in interactive “smart” shelves in stores in six Canadian provinces. Customers who tap their NFC-enabled smartphones to the shelves can get information about the product at the moment of decision.

Matt Bright, Senior Director of Product and Technical Marketing, Thinfilm, spoke with us about why the “smart” shelves are just the tip of the iceberg in IoT marketing. We’re not only talking about delivering marketing messages, but being able to customize and adapt to them and pick up the trail of the customer journey even beyond the buying decision.

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Brands Struggle to Keep Up with Demand for Cross-Channel Marketing Personalization

By | Industry Wire | No Comments

Consumers want offline shopping experiences to be just as personalized as online, but new research from the customer data firm Segment shows that most major brands are failing to meet those expectations.

In surveying 1,006 U.S. adults, Segment found that the vast majority are disappointed with the lack of personalization in their online and in-store shopping experiences. Seventy-one percent expressed “some level of frustration” when their shopping experiences are impersonal, leading to what industry experts have dubbed a “personalization gap” in the shopping experience.

“The most striking thing about the survey is that the experience of personalization for consumers is so low across the board — whether online or in-person,” says Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt. “For all the talk over the past decade about a 360 view of the customer, it’s surprising—but not shocking—to see that so few brands deliver a personalized experience for everyone.”

When personalization is done right, it leads to an increase in spending. Nearly half (49%) of the consumers in Segment’s survey said they have bought things on impulse because of personalization. That number was even higher among millennials. Sixty-three percent of consumers in that group said they have made an impulsive purchase based on a personalized recommendation.

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