Easy Mobile Marketing Ideas for Neighborhood Boutiques and Consignment Shops

September 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

An important part of every small business is to build a loyal customer base. For boutiques and consignment shops, it’s critical. With SMS marketing, small businesses have the power to send coupons and alerts to these loyal customers at a moment’s notice. Need to build that list? Contests and surveys via text message put your business in the palm of your prospect’s hands. This article explains how mobile marketing for boutiques is easy, affordable and effective.

MOBILE MARKETING: ONLY FOR THE BIG GUYS? Operating a neighborhood boutique can be a fun and enjoyable experience, however the bottom line must be a focus or the business will eventually fail. And, acknowledging the fact that most computing devices are no longer computers, but mobile devices, is crucial to understanding how to stay connected to your current customers and also how to attract new ones. Mobile marketing is a term used to describe the process of utilizing the ubiquitous mobile phone as a channel to perform many traditional marketing activities, such as:

  • Advertising
  • Market research
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Promotional Activities

CAN’T I JUST GET BY WITH SOCIAL NETWORKING? Many exciting social networking tools have been introduced in the past 3 years to let any business get in front of their customers, sometimes on a daily basis. They’ve got a lot of positives, including being free to use and easy to setup, but there are also some tradeoffs that come with free. First of all, everyone, and I’m including your neighbor John’s pet weasel here, has a Facebook page that they want you to Like or Friend. John’s weasel is also on Twitter, so you’re no doubt following him there, too.

What I’m trying to illustrate is that “newsfeeds” of many social networking sites are becoming noise. When a user has 193 friends to catch up on throughout the course of the day, you can bet that business updates take a back seat. Unfortunately, that new set of red and pink rhinestone mittens you just got in essentially gets lost in the abyss of electronic chatter.

For another good analogy, remember back to the days you were in elementary school. It’s Sunday and the weather man is forecasting a big snow storm to hit your town over the next few days. You hit the sack, with dreams of a glorious snow day dancing through your dreams. The next morning arrives, and you see a dusting of snow outside so you switch on the TV, just as your school rolls off the screen. Now you’ve got to wait for the other 30 schools, 40 daycares and 80 businesses to post their closings before they come back around… do you wait? or do you get ready and head out to the bus stop? Wouldn’t it be nice if they just showed you whether or not your school was closed today? That’s relevance. If they did, wouldn’t your TV always be on that channel in the morning?

HOW SHOULD I USE MOBILE MARKETING FOR MY BOUTIQUE OR CONSIGNMENT STORE? While there are countless ways to utilize mobile marketing in your neighborhood store, we suggest getting started with 3 easy mobile marketing campaigns:

  1. New Item Alerts: by placing a keyword at your register, customers can opt-in to receive alerts from you when new items arrive. Better yet, they can actually choose from categories that you set, which ensures they only get texts that they’re interested in. Naturally, they’re more likely to take action on advertising messages that are directly relevant to them.
  2. New Customer Coupon: use this keyword anywhere you want to reach prospective customers. Place it in your store window, on a sidewalk sign, on yard signs, even in radio advertising. Research by the AMA shows that Americans are 25% more likely to respond to an ad with a mobile component, which is what a SMS keyword is. For an example, text CHKITOUT to the number 59138 on your phone.
  3. Customer Feedback: use this keyword on a bag insert as a way to collect that important customer feedback. Ask up to 4 multiple choice questions, and if you choose to, offer a coupon at the end as an incentive. Try a demo by texting FEEDBACK to 59138.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR YOUR BUSINESS This article has explained how mobile marketing for boutiques is something anyone can do. Whether you’re ready to dive headfirst into mobile marketing, or just learn more, now’s the time to get your business into the hands of customers and prospects. SMS keywords and QR codes are popular now, but just on the horizon is a new technology called ‘augmented reality’ that’ll undoubtedly offer many new and interesting ways to connect with the world outside your window.

Author Michael Vincent is a marketing and technology entrepreneur, as well as a small bricks-and-mortar business owner. With these unique dual perspectives, he’s able to create and deliver mobile marketing tools that bring a clear ROI to small businesses.

He is the CEO of Fanfare Mobile (www.fanfaremobile.com) and co-owner of Lexington Beerworks, a craft beer taproom and home brew supply shop.

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