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Mall owner GGP: The higher the offer the more successful the campaign

LOS ANGELES ? An executive from General Growth Properties ? a company that operates and owns 150 malls nationwide ? discussed the best ways to use mobile throughout the consumer lifecycle. 

Retail is no longer confined to shopping malls and store catalogs. With the rise of mobile, marketers have a new and more interactive channel for reaching and engaging with consumers.

?We?ve found that our retailers are interested in using mobile to drive transactions and loyalty but that they weren?t eager to dive into the channel,? said Katie Sholem, manager of mobile marketing at General Growth Properties. 

?By working with us, and using our platforms, our retailers are able to get into mobile quickly and effectively,? she said. 

GGP has a mobile app and is working on building a database of opted-in subscibers for each of its malls. 

The database then becomes a tool for GGP retailers to push out deals and offers to drive traffic in-store. 

?Our most recent thing is our mobile app,? Ms. Sholem said. ?Our former CEO got an iPhone and the next day we got a budget for an app and within 90 days we created an app.?

Mall signage promotes the app, asking consumers to text the keyword APP to short code 50304 to see a mall map and enter into a sweepstakes. The app also lists deals from specific retailers. 

The Club is GGP?s email program. In 2009, the company decided to test how willing people are to receive deals and offers to their mobile devices.

Initially, 1,600 people opted-in representing only a .5 percent conversion. Regardless, GGP took the program from test mode to a mobile strategy. 

The pocket POS is a program where GGP offers shoppers a $10 mall gift cards for every $75 spent at the mall. 

The issue was that consumers had to print an email coupon to participate and there was no way to track whether the email had been used or if the person trying to redeem was really who they said they were. 

Mobile helped to solve this problem. By adding a unique QR code to each email, GGP was able to track the redemption of the coupon and that was a way to prevent fraud and also to track redemption. 
?We were able to see who redeemed and follow up via email,? Ms. Sholem said.  

?We are very focused on aligning all of our platforms and this was a great example of how to merge email and mobile," she said.
GGP is also using email to build its mobile database by placing calls-to-action into emails blasts. 

In-mall activations are really big for GGP, even bigger than push notifications to its opted-in list. 

?The in-mall activations work well because when people are in the mall, they are in shopping mode, so having them text in lets us know they are here and interested,? Ms. Sholem said. 

?We ran a test at Fashion Show Mall in Vegas,? she said. ?It was centered on letting shoppers take the mall map with them. 

?They were asked to either scan a QR code or text in to be directed to a mobile-optimized map. Twice as many people texted in than scanned a mobile bar code.?

GGP is focused on acquisition and how many people join its database. Then it focuses on how to retain them. 

?The higher the offer the more successful the campaign has been,? Ms. Sholem said. 

"For the holidays, we will run a program where people can text to a short code or scan a QR code to find out all that is on sale at the mall," she said.