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Despite ongoing chatter about the channel for several years now, mobile marketing usage increased sharply last year. In a November 2014 Salesforce Marketing Cloud study, 46% of marketers worldwide reported using some form of mobile marketing, compared with 23% studied in the prior year. Nearly two-thirds of mobile marketers said mobile produced, or would eventually produce, return on investment, and 70% said the channel was a critical enabler of products and services—up 13 percentage points year over year.
Customer loyalty pays off—just ask Amazon.com and take a look at the loyalty of holiday gift givers—and marketers were bringing these efforts to mobile. Loyalty efforts were the most popular type of mobile campaigns, used by 37% of respondents. Mobile marketers also took advantage of prime shopping seasons, with 36% using the channel for holiday or event campaigns. The same percentage also sent SMSs that promoted email subscriptions.
Loyalty campaigns paid off, too, ranking No. 1 in mobile marketing effectiveness. With this in mind, Salesforce pointed out that marketers who haven’t launched loyalty programs yet should consider optimizing them for mobile. Consumers love their deals, and mobile-exclusive offers landed in second for effectiveness, along with win-back and conversation via keyword campaigns.
Loyalty-focused apps have emerged as part of the mobile marketing landscape—with examples including Starbucks and 7-Eleven. Oftentimes, these apps track customers’ activity and send them rewards and offers in return. But are consumers tapping into the trend? 451 Research found that 37% of US mobile phone users had used mobile reward program apps to collect or redeem points, and 21% were interested in trying one. While one can’t ignore the fact that 43% of respondents weren’t interested in redeeming points via mobile reward program apps, it’s important to remember that quality often trumps quantity in the case of loyalty—maintaining devoted, big customers should be a key mobile focus.
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