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Why mobile is the ideal indoor marketing medium

Mobile devices are becoming more than just companions for consumers ? they are tools used along the path to purchase. And smart marketers are using a variety of technologies to cater to new and existing customers.

More companies are understanding the potential of the medium and using it in any way possible to reach consumers on a deeper level. Indoor marketing is being implemented a lot more now, especially with shopping malls and centers.

?There are many different kinds of mobile programs businesses can run indoors,? said James Citron, chief marketing officer of payvia, Los Angeles.

?For example, if you are a retail business, in-store signage is a terrific way to drive mobile CRM subscriptions and sales while rewarding new members with an instant coupon,? he said.

Driving engagement
For many brands, the ability to provide additional information upon demand, such as how-to videos, has proven to prevent showrooming and drive faster, immediate sales.

For mall and shopping center owners, mobilizing existing programs such as valet, personal shopping and more increases customer loyalty, benefitting both mall and store owners alike.

Currently, many marketers such as Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and Walgreens have innovative indoor marketing initiatives.

For example, Walmart and Target are creating in-store mobile-enhanced experiences designed to maximize the indoor shopping experience as defined by the customer. 

Walmart?s mobile program allows shoppers to open the brand's application and instantly be able to see the store layout, and where they need to go based on their uploaded shopping lists.

This is a great tool for customers who want to get in and out of the store fast.

Additionally, offering coupons based on the customer?s location within the store or offer product spotlights, is a great way to drive higher sales right inside the aisle.

Constantly evolving
According to Mr. Citron, mobile marketing is quickly evolving in a few ways. 

For marketers, a consumer?s mobile phone number is the most important piece of data that they need.

Mobile relationship and customer relationship management will begin first with acquiring your customers? mobile numbers and the ability to communicate with them through it.

Moreover, mobile marketing is moving into a conversational medium where marketers can engage their customers in a two-way conversation learning their interests, problems, desired messaging and consequently, optimizing their content, message frequency and experience.

?There?s also mobile payments,? Mr. Citron said. ?Merchants are struggling to drive successful mobile revenue due to the difficulty and friction of credit card checkout on a mobile device.

?Tomorrow?s merchants will be leveraging direct carrier billing as a means to increase the purchase conversion of purchases starting on a mobile device,? he said.

According to Jeff Hasen, a Seattle-based mobile marketing consultant, marketers can likely spot a consumer without a shopping cart long before they can identify one without a mobile device.

?Successful retailers are using a variety of mobile technologies and permission-based programs to cater to the shopper's interest at the individual level,? Mr. Hasen said.

?Brands and brick and mortars have great interest in being more relevant and there at the moment of decision,? he said. ?Expect additional innovation in this area."

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York