Mobile Marketing Best Practices:Targeting Brick-and-Mortar Shoppers

Approximately eight out of 10 shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping in-store, according to research from Google. They could be comparing prices, looking up product information, reading reviews, or even scoping out your competitors.

Advanced mobile targeting technology allows you to “fingerprint” people who have visited your location; and that opens up a world of possibilities. It enables you to take a unique approach to communicating with those prospects in the future, and it boosts your ability to promote repeat store visits and purchases, traffic to your ecommerce platform, brand loyalty and evangelism, or, if that person left your store undecided, a first-time sale.

People who have visited your brick-and-mortar location represent a very specific and valuable prospect group. Here’s how you can use mobile to prompt them to take action.

The power of cross-device retargeting

Cross-device technology identifies a user across his or her multiple devices through either probabilistic or deterministic matching. The latter uses verified factors to identify users, such as email addresses they use to log in across devices. Probabilistic matching relies on algorithms to analyze a combination of anonymous data points, such as location, time of day, device type, browser, IP address and more, to make informed assumptions about users’ identities.

Once you have identified someone who has visited your store, you can retarget them not just on their mobile, but on other devices, too. For optimal results, choose a message best suited for the time of day, channel and the potential recipients’ state-of-mind. For example, you may want to serve a mobile display ad with a promo code the next time they are near your store, whereas a video ad with the latest on your spring collection might work best on their desktop, in the evening, when they are more receptive to that type of in-depth communication.

Conversely, you can also use cross-device retargeting to identify people who have visited your website, and then serve them mobile ads when they are near your physical location. If you are having success with site-based retargeting campaigns, you can use mobile marketing to expand those programs by tapping into an additional location-based audience.

Add value to those who have shown interest

Perhaps the majority of purchases come from repeat visits—your loyal followers. If this is the case, cultivating relationships with this group will probably provide a higher return on your investment than finding new prospects. Once you fingerprint consumers who have been in-store, you can customize your outreach accordingly. For example, assuming they had a favorable customer experience while in-store, they are more likely to be receptive to hearing about an upcoming sale, exclusive content or a loyalty rewards program.

It’s also worth noting that leveraging your own first-party data is a great way to target existing customers. Use your CRM to create a powerful prospect list, such as people who have already signed up for your newsletter. Then you can target them with provocative mobile promotions when you know they are in the area.

By concentrating your ad spend on these warmer prospects – people who have already showed interest in your offering – you’ll spend your budget more effectively. It’s like a head start in the race down the marketing funnel. Why start from the top if you have the means of identifying people who are halfway to the finish line? Layering levels of targeting and considering the needs and preferences of this important audience segment is a sure-fire way to achieve great results.

Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR