Monday, August 11, 2008

Retailers txt teens

When I received my Ypulse post alerting me to yesterday's Tampa Bay article Retailers know texting is the totally best way to reach teens, I saw that Anastasia had commented "this seems like a no duh one to long as it's opt in and not sneaky at all." Ah, but I disagree. You'd think that major retailers and other large companies who have some sort of teen initiative would rally behind mobile marketing efforts. Because, of course, that's where the teens are, right? If only it were that simple. Yes, teens are glued to their phones. Yes, they text incessently. But does this mean that they want to receive mobile marketing messages from their favorite retailers? The article reports that Beall's department stores gained 5,000 opt-in subscribers since March. Let me repeat that. 5,000 subscribers. Since March. Just about any print, e-mail or online advertising campaign would far exceed those results. Couldn't those marketing dollars be put to better use?

The article does point out that while text messaging is not a great way to attract new customers, it can serve as a new channel to communicate to existing shoppers. Still, though: "Stores walk a fine line between relevant content and being labeled lame by picky teens." Isn't that the truth.

My advice to retailers or anyone else jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon: Outline your goals and intiatives. What do you hope to gain from your mobile marketing efforts? Craft your messages around some sort of campaign that's relevant to teens. Know your audience. Or hire someone who does.

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