Going Mobile—The Marketer’s Dream

SEMA Member News—May/June 2011

Going Mobile

The Marketer’s Dream

    QR code scanning increased 1,600% in the fourth quarter of 2010. 
QR code scanning increased 1,600% in the fourth quarter of 2010.
     
     

Mobile marketing is the fastest-growing marketing opportunity in human history.

If that sounds overstated, consider that worldwide shipments of smartphones in 2010 alone—mobile phones running a BlackBerry, Android, Apple, Palm or Windows operating system with advanced features, such as Internet access—were 270 million units, a 55% increase over 2009. Tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, are rapidly becoming a significant force in mobile marketing, with forecasted 2011 sales between 35 million and 70 million units. In fact, more people are projected to access the Internet with a mobile device than with a computer by 2013.

You probably already knew that the growth in online commerce continues to outpace traditional retail sales. Hedges & Company is forecasting online sales of automotive specialty products (excluding auctions) to break $2 billion in 2011. When you add in multichannel customers—shoppers who use the Internet to gather information, even though they buy in a retail store—the amount of specialty-equipment product sales influenced by the Internet is staggering. More of this online activity is migrating from PCs to smartphones every day.

Three Ways to Use Mobile for Marketing

Here are three things to keep in mind to sell more specialty-equipment parts and accessories using mobile marketing.

First, the obvious: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Hedges & Company research from the 2009 and 2010 SEMA Show Opinion Leader program showed that as many as nine out of 10 automotive enthusiasts used the Internet to research a product before buying, whether they buy online, in a store or through an online auction. Many consumers go directly to a manufacturer’s website first. Even if you don’t sell directly to consumers, your website must be compatible with all PC and mobile browsers.

Second, even in mobile marketing, e-mail is still the king. It has the highest return on investment (ROI) of all marketing activities, and it’s the online activity that three out of five consumers start the day with, whether on their PCs or their smartphones. E-mail is more popular than any other online activity, including social media. Nearly nine out of 10 consumers check their e-mail once a day, and half of all consumers have made a purchase as a result of an e-mail.

Third, remember that mobile is interactive, and consumers are fully engaged with their mobile devices. Effective mobile marketing should “close the loop” to attempt to produce a sale.

Fortunately, interactivity is now easier and more effective than ever. Enter the mobile scan code.

Scan Codes: Close the Sales Loop

   
The most widely used scan code format is known as a 2D or QR code, a collection of patterns compressed into a small square and encoded with data that is “read” on a smartphone using a downloadable application, widely known as an “app.”
     
     

The built-in cameras and software in Smartphones have converged to enable code scanning, which is growing at a rate faster than the growth of the smartphone itself. It has been estimated that scanning in 2010 was up 1,600% over 2009.

The most widely used scan code format is known as a 2D or QR code, a collection of patterns compressed into a small square and encoded with data that is “read” on a smartphone using a downloadable application, widely known as an “app.”

We spoke with Nile Cornelison, CEO of Direct Communications Inc. (DCi), a SEMA-member company on the forefront of QR codes. DCi manages product data and content for more than 200 specialty-equipment manufacturers and is creating mobile marketing opportunities.

“There are now more smartphone code scans in a single month than we had in all of 2009,” said Cornelison. “A marketing approach we like is to use a scannable QR code, or use a short URL, to send a consumer to a mobile-friendly listing of products where they can search by year/make/model.

Cornelison said that a QR code can be placed anywhere: in a magazine ad, on traditional in-store point-of-purchase (POP) displays, on posters—let your imagination run wild.

“Wherever you put a QR code, it is more effective when used to guide a consumer directly to products of interest,” he said. “Mobile consumers have a short attention span. They want to see a product listing edited down for them. For example, a QR code placed on a truck accessory manufacturer’s POP display could direct a consumer to a year/make/model search to find an application for his vehicle. Or to a list of new products, which can change even though the in-store POP stays in place for months. Outside a store, a QR code can even guide a consumer where to buy a product, locally or online.”

Mobile: a Marketer’s Dream

Mobile devices represent a specialty-equipment marketer’s dream: complete interaction, the technology to target specific consumers, the ability to close the sales loop, measurable ROI and a rapidly growing market.

Tap into mobile to help ensure your success in 2011.

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