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Personal care brands slow to adopt mobile marketing: report

While personal care brands lag when it comes to offering consumers branded mobile-friendly experiences, many are partnering with retailer and third-party apps such as shopkick, according to a new report from L2.

The "L2 Digital Index: Personal Care report" is a review of 75 United States personal care brands, such as Dove, Gillette, Old Spice, Neutrogena, Secret and Pampers, and their role in digital marketing. The analysis found that less than 20 percent offer a branded mobile application while 40 percent have partnered with apps such as shopkick that reward shoppers for in-store activities.

?We found limited investment in branded mobile properties; just 48 percent of personal care brand sites were mobile-optimized and less than 20 percent of brands have an iPhone, iPad or Android app,? said Katie Brehm, research associate at L2, New York.

?The larger opportunity could be retailer or third-party apps that have already achieved scale,? she said.

?We saw brands had partnered with shopkick, and more than 40 percent had been included in Target's mobile coupon program. This is not surprising, as a third of smartphone users are engaging with their mobile device while shopping for personal care products.?

Mobile Web
While consumers are increasingly engaging with personal care brands via their mobile devices, many of these marketers are not fully taking advantage of the opportunity in mobile.

Key findings from the report include that just 34 percent of personal care brands have a customized mobile site, 14 percent use mobile-friendly HTML5, 9 percent have a responsive/adaptive site and 5 percent offer a partial mobile site.

The mobile site features that personal care brands have embraced include: 62 percent with product ratings and reviews, 45 percent with touch and swipe support, 45 percent with one-click to call customer service, 45 percent with finger-input optimization, 29 percent with collapsible menus, 24 percent with one-click to email customer service and 17 percent with geolocation.

Personal care brands take to shopkick

Getting it right
When it comes to mobile applications, adoption is even more limited, with 16 percent of personal care brands having an iPhone app, 12 percent an Android app and 4 percent operating an iPad app.

Among brands with mobile apps, only Pampers Hello Baby Pregnancy Calendar and AXE Pogo Xtreme have been rated by more than 900 consumers in the iTunes store.

The report also points to several specific examples of how personal care brands are embracing mobile.

For example, the Method brand is featured in the Shopkick app, Schick print ads prompt users to text to receive a free product sample and the Acquafresh Time2Brush app was designed to help children brush their teeth.

?The most successful brands are using mobile as a key component of any marketing campaign including SMS programs, video or text-to-enter sweepstakes that drive engagement,? Ms. Brehm said. ?Traditional personal care programs, such as sampling and couponing, are being driven via SMS or QR codes.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York