With the enhancements of modern day technology, consumers have become “more and more comfortable with and reliant on digital communication solutions, including the mobile phone”. The phone has become a primary means of communication among consumers, not only for voice but also for digital services such as e-mail, photos, and text messages or “SMS Messages”. With this change in communication, marketers must take notice and develop marketing plans accordingly.
Mobile Advertising – Kohl’s “Win Great Things” Sweepstakes
As a department store, back-to-school shopping is an important time to be on top of consumers’ minds. In 2013, Kohl’s took a different approach for its back-to-school campaign by giving mobile a more prominent role. The campaign was called the “Win Great Things” sweepstakes, which rewarded shoppers with coupons and online game pieces that could be used to win prizes from brands including Keurig, Apple’s iTunes and JanSport.
Throughout the campaign, Kohl’s sent out SMS blasts promoting the sweepstakes to consumers that had opt-ed in to its mobile alerts program, Kohl’sAlerts. The text informed consumers if they spent $30 or more at Kohl’s, they would receive a coupon for $5 off a $50 purchase at Staples. The blast also included a link to the microsite for the campaign, where consumers could learn more about the sweepstakes and how they could receive and claim game codes. For every $30 that consumers spend at the store, they would receive one game piece to win prizes. Prizes could be claimed in store, online, and through the microsite that was provided in the SMS blast.
Savvy shoppers are always looking for the best deal and back-to-school shopping is no exception, but will sending a text message about a discount help persuade them to shop at Kohl’s? According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, roughly 90% of shoppers are persuaded to visit stores because of money-saving sales. Parents and students are price sensitive and continuously hunt for a combination of good prices, quality, and style. Kohl’s is meeting consumer needs by not only offering sales, but also by providing additional discounts on the back-to-school essentials and opportunities to win prizes. Additionally, the partnership between Kohl’s and Staples provides consumers with more ways to save. Furthermore, the SMS blasts provide convenient reminders for shoppers about the promotion and an easy way to enter their game codes to see if they won a prize.
Since shoppers had to sign up to receive the SMS marketing messages, the overall consumer experience in using this approach was positive. These shoppers have demonstrated that they are already invested in the company and are open to receiving information. The SMS messages served as a nice reminder on how shoppers can save money during back-to-school shopping and not viewed as spam invading their personal space. “Additionally, since 98% of mobile phones have the ability to receive SMS messages, there are no downloads necessary, no technology learning curves, and no behavior modifications required, all making for an easy, user-friendly opportunity for customers to take action.” Plus, shoppers can easily opt out whenever they no longer wish to receive messages.
What are your thoughts on text messages from brands? Annoying or effective?