Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: March 2012
By Diane Chiasson
By Diane Chiasson
It’s estimated that more than 10 trillion text messages will be sent and received worldwide this year.
It’s estimated that more than 10 trillion text messages will be sent and received worldwide this year. Over 50 billion apps will be downloaded and the number of smartphone users is expected to exceed the number of PC users. The best way to reach your target audience is via their cellphones.
There are many benefits to mobile marketing, including an increase in repeat customer visits, gaining new customers and spreading word-of-mouth awareness. It is also a fairly inexpensive way to market. Most importantly, mobile marketing helps you establish a personal relationship with your customers.
There are several different ways in which mobile marketing can be applied, ranging from simple local advertising to more complicated GPS-related location detection. It can be as simple as sending out a text message or a coupon to your customers’ cellphones, or offering incentives to your customers for visiting your bakery on multiple occasions. You could also use mobile marketing to provide social events and meet-ups based on the physical location of your store, or share location-based information with your customers via a social network.
Here’s a breakdown on how to market your bakery through the various platforms of mobile marketing.
Simple text messaging
Use SMS (Short Message Service) to send short, text-based messages to your customers, which can include your daily special or a discount coupon. Be sure to always send your phone number, address and a link to your website. Text message marketing can also create more meaningful relationships with your customers. However, since it is permission-based, you need to make sure that you give your customers a good reason to opt-in and receive your deals.
You can use Multimedia Message Service (MMS) to send photo messages to your customers that would include embedded images of your latest cake creations, desserts, pastries or fresh breads. Bakeries, in particular, can really capitalize on luring in customers with tantalizing photos of their products.
Mobile web browsing
Make your website more user-friendly for mobile devices, allowing customers to place orders, download coupons or other specials via their mobile phones. Ensure you have maps, directions and general information posted on your website that will allow customers to find you easily.
Most smartphones today come equipped with GPS, and are capable of broadcasting locations. You could take this opportunity to send your ads or messages to users in a specific location. For example, a customer who has opted-in to your bakery’s mobile marketing plan walks by and will instantly receive a text message inviting him in for an immediate reward. Or you could market via a mobile network, whereby the customer’s mobile service provider delivers offers, rewards and coupons to its subscribers based on their specific geographic location.
Develop an application
Developing an “app” for your bakery can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, but if successful, could help increase your sales by millions. For example, your app could allow customers customize their own cakes or cupcakes by allowing them to choose the flavour of the cake, the colour and flavour of the icing, the filling and the decorations. You could also create a cupcake-making game for kids that allows them to create a cupcake and later purchase their creation at your bakery, or have contests to see who created the best cupcake. Your app should save the customer’s order, address and payment method, making all subsequent orders much easier.
Use location-based mobile platforms
There are several location-based mobile platforms that you can use that allow your customers to “check in” at your bakery, giving you presence on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Customers check in and tell all their friends where they are, thereby promoting your operation. In return, you can increase repeat business by offering your customers rewards and discounts.
E-mail is still considered a mobile channel, and still one of the easiest ways to send a message. Like text messaging, you need your customers to sign up for it.
There are many ways to take advantage of your customers’ propensity to be on their cellphones. Use this breakdown of mobile marketing to help your bakery reach new heights.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .