How to make SoLoMo marketing work for you

26th Feb 2014

Customers think social-local-mobile marketing (SoLoMo) should be an invite-only type of party, according to new report, Harnessing the power of SoLoMo. People just don’t care for gatecrashers it seems, as the majority (70%) of customers are only happy to receive SoLoMo communications on their mobile from companies who have had prior permission.

GI Insight surveyed more than 1,000 customers to find out about attitudes towards this location-driven marketing strategy. They found that customers largely consider their mobiles to be private territory, with 80% admitting they would be more than a little peeved to receive localised messages from just any old corporate Tom, Dick or Harry. The findings also showed that 58% of consumers would only be OK with getting SoLoMo messages from companies with which they have a particularly strong relationship.

However, messages sent via mobile do seem to receive the most responses; only 22% of customers are likely to take up a local offer sent to them through social media channels such as Facebook and Foursquare. This compares with a far more significant 59% for mobile channels such as SMS, email and app – but, again, only when the customer has signed up for them.

So, localised marketing messages need to be both solicited and mobile-friendly. But that’s not all.  Many consumers (59%) admit they will sniff at such communcations which aren’t personalised and don’t reflect their individual needs and interests – even if they do come from a company they're strongly connected to.

Andy Wood, GI Insight’s managing director, summaries the research: “These findings throw up some real red flags for brands, and some of them are surprising. For instance, not everyone is happy to be marketed to via mobile, and less than a quarter of the consumers we surveyed say that they would act on localised messages sent to their smartphones via a social networking site.

“Permissions are crucial to even get a message read and having a longstanding relationship with a brand – such as belonging to the loyalty scheme – is the real key driver behind consumer take-up of SoLoMo offers, according to the research. Consumers also demand that such localised mobile messages offer personalised, individual promotions based on what the brand knows about them.  These relationships have to be built through other channels and informed by data painstakingly gathered and analysed – before any location-based marketing is even considered. SoLoMo cannot simply be a matter of casting the net out to a location and seeing if the consumer bites.

“Whilst SoLoMo can offer a unique opportunity for companies to gain a competitive edge, the research makes it crystal clear that it is not going to develop into the be-all and end-all of one-to-one marketing. It is evident that a significant proportion of consumers will never be comfortable accepting location-based marketing on their mobiles and that, for others, it is but one touch point among a range of channels that brands need to use to engage them.”

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