Brands and retailers vying for their customers' attention have to be smart. Sending too many mobile offers can lead to a decrease in customer engagement, while sending too few offers can lead to lackluster campaign results. In an effort to find the perfect medium, strategic business owners are increasingly turning to Placecast. The mobile ad company's ShopAlerts platform uses geo-fencing to send relevant mobile offers to customers located in the nearby vicinity.
How It Works
Since July 2011, Placecast has been offering merchants and brands access to ShopAlerts, a self-service tool for creating, delivering and tracking mobile promotions using location-based technology. From the customer's end, the platform is seamless. Shoppers visiting a merchant's store are instructed to text a keyword to a special number or sign up through the web to receive discounts and deals on their mobile phones. Each time shoppers enter a geo-fenced area—which has been determined by the participating merchant—they receive relevant marketing messages delivered straight to their smartphones. In addition to receiving discount codes and deal offers, customers can also receive details about upcoming sales, invitations to private events and insider information that's only available to customers who've opted to receive the merchant's mobile alerts.
Placecast in Action
Small businesses and larger brands can use Placecast's ShopAlerts platform to increase user engagement in their mobile campaigns. The platform helps businesses ensure that the mobile deals they send out are reaching the right customers at the right times by utilizing geo-fences to determine when customers should receive text message alerts. In addition to setting up geo-fences around their stores, merchants can also create geo-fences at nearby recreational areas, event venues, dining districts and wherever else their customers hang out.
To determine whether their targeted marketing efforts are paying off, merchants can turn to the custom reports ShopAlerts supplies. These reports show the number of users who've signed up to receive mobile messages, what devices those customers were using when they signed up, and where they were located when ShopAlerts' messages were triggered. For these services, Placecast charges merchants a one-time setup fee, plus variable fees based on the number of active users and messages being sent each month.
Why It Works
The problem with most text-based marketing campaigns is that they target consumers at inopportune times. Most people don't want to receive text message alerts from retailers while they're eating dinner with their families or meeting with important business clients. Placecast gives marketers a way to screen out customers whose geographic locations indicate they are not interested in receiving marketing messages at the given time. Sending targeted messages when customers are at certain locations, such as nearby recreational areas or concert venues, also gives marketers a way to pinpoint the specific offers or alerts that are most likely to attract interest and drive traffic at their individual stores. As a result, brands and merchants who use Placecast's ShopAlerts platform tend to have deeper brand engagement and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Maximizing the Benefits
Larger businesses that are interested in launching their own branded mobile applications can use the ShopAlerts platform to connect with customers in even smarter ways. Using Placecast's location-based technology, retailers can push notifications to their customers' smartphones whenever they enter geo-fenced areas. More importantly, these pushed notifications can be sent even when the retailer's mobile application is closed. The ShopAlerts platform also gives brands a way to leverage the individual customer data they've solicited from loyalty programs and past purchase information—along with weather patterns and times of the day—when creating deals and messages that are relevant to each consumer.
Read more "How It Works."
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. She is based in Portland, Ore.
Photo credit: Placecast