Luxury Marketers – Start putting mobile usage on par with the quality of your goods!

Posted on October 22, 2012


      Luxury marketers are missing it (although sometimes with the best of intentions)!  Their customers are hip, sophisticated, and savvy, especially when it comes to technology.  So why not start catering more to the mobile devices that have essentially become a permanent extension of themselves.  It is an opportunity not to be missed.

     Mobile is an easy opportunity to take advantage of;  using QR codes that connect physical and digital assets is one way,  another popular option is opt-in text deals, and iPhone/iPad/Android apps are the old standby.  Mobile optimized websites are also gaining traction as the mobile web becomes more understood as a powerful delivery tool for all marketing assets.  The bottom line is simple – make it optimized for mobile, make it meaningful, make it engaging, and cater it to the needs of the affluent customers that ultimately buy your goods.

Commentary: Davis Wood, Sr. Account Manager at SiteMinis, Mobile

What most luxury marketers are still doing wrong on mobile – 22. October 2012 by Rachel.Lamb

Luxury marketers are not exactly renowned for their innovative approach to marketing. On the contrary, they have more of a wait-and-see strategy especially when it comes to new marketing such as mobile.

However, most luxury brands are seriously missing out on an opportunity to get in touch with affluent consumers on mobile, especially because they are the most-likely group of individuals to have access to pricey tablets and smartphones.

As product innovators, brands have an opportunity to be technological innovators. Brands should be on platforms where consumers are, even if they do not know that they should be there yet.

Some brands are taking advantage of mobile marketing opportunities such as SMS, applications, optimized sites, banner ads and QR codes. However, just as many are making major missteps that could alienate consumers or turn them off from new technology.

“The primary wrongdoing specific to mobile is that brands and labels are still somewhat in the frame of mind that mobile is just a scaled down, extended representation of their big-browser digital strategies,” said Scott Forshay, mobile and emerging technologies strategist at Acquity Group. “This mindset fundamentally limits the differentiated functional capabilities of the device.

“Mobile devices are now the pervasive first screen and, in a way, they have become very natural digital extensions of our human selves,” he said. “The device knows who we are, where we are, what time it is, who we’re connected to socially and, as such, it offers the ability for luxury marketers to seduce their consumer audience with greater degrees of contextual relevancy and personalization than have historically been available in direct-to-consumer communications.

“The issue is that a vast majority of these marketers are still stuck in an old-world digital mentality.”

The first step most brands take is to create a mobile app. This tactic allows consumers access to special branded content, campaign images, products and other interaction.

However, consumers must have a specific mobile device – usually an iPhone or iPad or, if a brand is feeling especially tech-savvy, an Android device – to download the app.

Also, brands are still treating the luxury market and the general market as the same, and this is a big mistake. Affluent consumers expect a more high-touch, personalized experience, even though mobile, according to Isabella Lin, content director at Appitalism.

“Luxury consumers should be allowed to appreciate the luxury goods market,” Ms. Lin said. “Today’s smartphone communications are really personalized.

“Society should pay more attention to the spiritual feeling of luxury consumer, the quality of the service and experience and a true understanding of the luxury consumer is not simply material feel,” she said. “It’s more about the preferences, desires and values.”

Another area that brands are starting to move into is SMS/MMS. This media is an entirely opt-in channel, so marketers have an opportunity to personalize their messages.

However, most luxury brands are still not understanding this.

For example, Celebrity Cruises has a great opportunity to engage with consumers on a personal level by sending SMS messages, but it sends the same content every week. Consumers on the list could opt-out or get bored with the brand since it is not offering anything new.

“Luxury brand marketers know the importance of cultivating relationships and providing extraordinary experiences,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at Hipcricket. “Mobile provides the path.

“Also critical is relevance,” he said. “The most effective luxury marketers are building robust databases that build in personal preferences.

“Affluent consumers like what they like and, more than most, appreciate businesses that cater to their interests.”

Brands can use past purchase history, location and other personalized information – that the customer actually gave up – to increase personalization and bolster the chance of transaction and engagement.

Surprisingly, luxury marketers are still not understanding the most obvious and beneficial mobile tactic of all: the optimized site.

A mobile-optimized site is so important because this is the quickest way that on-the-go consumers can reach a luxury brand.

Also, consumers do not need a specific phone or app to get in touch with a brand if the marketer develops the site so that it is platform-agnostic.

An optimized site can also act as a backbone for other mobile marketing strategies such as post-QR-code scan the landing page after a mobile banner ad.

In fact, two of the biggest mistakes that luxury marketers are still making with these two strategies is that they do not optimize the content for mobile.

For example, even though Neiman Marcus had the right intentions by placing a bar code on the New York Times mobile site, it did not optimize the landing page for smartphones and consumers had trouble seeing content.

“Luxury marketers may have mis-stepped is not adopting marketing and PC sites to the mobile devices customers are using fast enough,” said Marci Troutman, founder/CEO ofSiteminis. “With luxury brands’ consumer base utilizing the newest and best mobile devices on the market, there is a very strong need to ramp up the mobile marketing to keep the interest of these consumers.

“The demographic is very real and can prove to be extremely profitable if mobile marketing is done well for luxury brands,” she said.

Ultimately, brands need to continue to market to affluent consumers via mobile in a very personal way.

Customer service, knowledge of the product and convenience are cornerstones of the luxury industry, and whether a consumer is in a brand store or getting in touch through a screen, these trademarks should not waver.

“Mobile has the unique capability to add layers of dimensionality to experience design, adding motion, voice and an understanding contextual to two dimensional experiences with the brand,” Acquity’s Mr. Forshay said.

“Given that the medium is inherently transitive in nature, the device should be viewed as a reimagined compass, affording consumers the ability to navigate an increasingly digitally-optimized journey with brands and allowing them to carry the brand narrative with them across all brand touchpoints,” he said. “In a lot of ways, consumers can now become bit part players in the theatricality of luxury brand experience.

“My counsel for luxury brands would be to focus on how best to utilize the functional capabilities unique to the device, in particular how best to leverage contextually relevant, just in time experiences in keeping with the tailored experiences of luxury brands.