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Become Digital: My holiday marketing tips

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Many businesses have looked at last year’s holiday trends to understand how to plan this year’s holiday campaigns. But I believe that looking to the past will not be enough anymore. The upcoming holiday season will look a little different this year. So today, let’s look at how start-ups and small businesses can use mobile marketing to engage with and inspire their customers.

As you are preparing for your 2020 holiday campaigns, would you still think mobile is not crucial to your success? Let me throw a few figures from the Adobe’s 2019 Holiday Recap to illustrate the reality. In 2019, mobile phones accounted for more than 80 percent of the holiday season’s e-commerce growth. And almost 70 percent of all visits on Christmas Day came from mobile phones. This is not going to change even if the work from home has probably led to an increase in desktop use for shopping during 2020. This year as well as in the years to come, we will see more people shopping online from mobile phones.

I have worked with like-minded businesses to leverage the power of marketing through mobile wallets. A mobile wallet is an interactive marketing platform for engaging customers in an affordable way. There are huge advantages in costs and speed for businesses that leverage mobile wallet over developing another mobile app for people to install and interact.

Usually, when a paper coupon is redeemed, the customer’s experience and interaction with your business are over. Digital coupons for mobile wallets (also called mobile coupons) in fact allow you to re-engage customers and incentivize them to return. The mobile coupons work as smart bookmarks in the customer’s mobile wallet to your deals, promotions, and discounts. Through them, you can remain in touch with your customers perpetually, not just during this holiday season.

Your mobile coupon offers will result in an increase in sales creating a real value for customers. People will appreciate the flexibility and ease of use. Mobile payments make it also much easier for people to redeem your mobile coupons and mobile loyalty cards that they added to their mobile wallets.

Generate Holiday Buzz

Ideally, you have already begun. Some people start before October even begins, and others prefer to do their holiday shopping in November. And of course, some people just keep shopping on Christmas Day. It is important to try capturing all those sales.

You might want to build anticipation by counting down to a “big day”. Create and distribute a mobile coupon for your holiday promotion that includes a jazzy countdown timer. Update it every morning to visibly notify your customers that the end of the holiday promotion is getting closer. From time to time, you can include push notification, too. To highlight it even more.

Or you could reward the “first 100”. The first 100 that download your new mobile customer card through a QR code in your store. The first 100 that download it through a link on your website. The ones that download it through your Facebook page, through your Instagram, or the ones you sent the link by a text message. For each channel, you can give a small nice special something to the first 100 people adding your new mobile customer card to their mobile wallet. You want to create a rapid demand using this exclusivity feel. You also pick up some great perspectives on which channels are more effective for your business in establishing connections to customers through mobile wallets.

Show Up On Your Customers’ Lock Screen

There is another thing you should know. Not all mobile advertising is equal. People basically spend over 90% of their time within apps and not using mobile browsers. As a result, businesses might want to carefully consider where to place ads.

Your customers added the digital customer card into their mobile wallet. This is how you can easily remain in connection with them. After a while, you can surprise your customers by sending a fresh offer to the customer card inside their mobile wallet. Of course, including a personalized message with thanks for their loyalty. Show how you care about them by offering “7 days of deals”. Engage your customers throughout the holidays with daily high-value offers that can be redeemed online or in the store. All coming to their customer card that lives in their mobile wallet. You can dynamically update the customer cards and notify people about the daily offers straight on their lock screen.

This is exactly the feature of the mobile wallet that provides you the opportunity to be seen on the lock screen of your customers. This is more powerful than emails or texts. And obviously, paper coupons or plastic cards. And don’t stop there. Provide preferential treatment to those loyal customers that have your customer card in their mobile wallet. And don’t forget to also add geolocation information to the customer cards or coupons. This mobile wallet feature further enhances the individual customer’s experience. A relevant coupon or the customer card together with a customized message shows up on the lock screen as soon as the customer reaches a certain location. Or at a given time. The mobile coupon or the mobile customer card can be opened directly from the lock screen without having to look for it. Those location-based notifications feel extremely relevant and have the potential to deliver information in exactly the place and time your customer needs it.

The use of mobile wallets as a customer relationship channel extends beyond this holiday season. Start-ups and small businesses can take the advantage of low cost and broad reach. No app is needed. All that needs to be done is creating your content for mobile wallets and distributing it through any channel without the hurdle of getting people to download another mobile app.


Ladislav Poledna inspires readers to “Become Digital” by publishing materials about digital marketing in his Prague Monitor column and aptly named blog. He has built a career around developing successful customer relationships for the past two decades. At present, Ladislav manages the Power Solutions division of a Fortune 1000 company in Central and Eastern Europe and also oversees operations of the producer’s regional office in Prague. Recently, he co-founded a B-to-B software service company making mobile marketing affordable and easy to use. Ladislav’s philanthropic contribution consists of a long-term relationship with a charity focused on funding dreams for people with muscular dystrophy.
Mobile phones are long becoming the main “screen” in peoples’ lives. Mobile marketing is no longer an innovation but a part of important decisions. Read articles on mobile marketing to get inspired on how to connect with people where they spend a lot of their time. Become Digital.

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