I have written a lot about SoLoMo concepts and strategies. This month, I’ll show you:
- How you can connect tools from each of the three categories (social, local and mobile) to create a SoLoMo customer experience.
- Ways that major retailer, Walmart, is successfully delivering SoLoMo marketing, providing the shopping experience today’s customer expects.
Let’s talk about the tools first. Are you aware of the tools available to jump-start a successful SoLoMo customer experience?
A few notes:
- There are many tools available, I am selecting a few of the more popular ones.
- I am not endorsing or necessarily recommending these tools, just offering them as a suggestion to help you get started.
- Often there is overlap; tools can fit into more than one category.
As you explore the tools, remember that SoLoMo marketing requires a different mindset, one that is focused on the customer experience. This is really important when you think about which tools you’ll want to use and how you will connect them together to create your own specific customer experience.
- Blogging is an important tool, granted a blog may not seem like a tool; however, writing content and optimizing for local business can be effective. For example, being a Richmonder, I could write about Richmond marketing strategies, outlining ideas that would appeal to local owners.
- Geotoko (this is a Hootsuite product) is a real time local marketing and analytics platform that allows businesses to deploy and track local campaigns.
- The tool offers a straightforward step-by-step wizard to guide you through the process of creating a multi-platform local marketing campaign. This is particularly useful if you already have a social media presence and some promotional offers.
- Coupon Apps
Since promotions tend to play a significant role in local marketing, it’s not surprising to find multiple coupon apps. (As previously noted, this list is not exhaustive; I’m simply choosing a few of the more popular apps.)
- The Coupons App is a free download for consumers to get coupons from multiple product categories. Businesses can purchase mobile ads that deliver impressions to mobile consumers within a specified geographic radius of your business location. You can read more about the specific details here.
- Grocery IQ Same basic idea as The Coupons App, though more targeted toward the grocery shopping experience. There is some added utility; for example, consumers can create shopping lists. If you are interested in learning more about utilizing this platform, you can find out more here.
Smart devices are important considerations in the SoLoMo process. Most of our online marketing assets have been created for viewing on desktop or laptop computers. Make sure your online content is clearly visible and easy to navigate using a smartphone or tablet.
First let’s focus on access.
- Phone emulator Mobile Moxie offers a free tool that will show you what your site looks like on various smartphones. A word of caution: this is a free tool, so the selection of handsets is limited and you may encounter issues with bugs in the program. It’s very important to understand the mobile experience, so at the very least browse and complete as much of the path to purchase journey as you possibly can from smart devices, preferably a smartphone and a tablet. Remember to view this entire process from the perspective of your customer.
There are some tools and services that can help convert your existing site to a mobile friendly site if necessary.
- Duda Mobile Creates your current website to a new mobile site using a step-by-step wizard. There are free and premium options.
- Bmobilized is another option, there is a step-by-step wizard you can use or pay a one-time fee and they will convert your site for you. There is no free option with this service.
- Mobify There is a free version and a paid version offering more robust options. Mobify appears to be geared towards enterprise solutions, their client list includes brands like Starbucks.
An important part of access is being found by those searching for you; Google provides a free tool to help identify terms consumers are using to find your product or service.
While consumers tend to favor web access it’s important to understand your customers. Many customers like to use apps to stay connected and to access product/service information.
While you always have the option of creating your own apps, this can be expensive so think about ways you can use existing apps.
Linked In Mobile app – Provides a convenient way to stay in touch with key contacts and updates. This can be especially important for business to business lead generation. For example, if a prospect responds using the Linked In email platform you will have on-the-go access to these communications.
Custom apps – Like the Walmart mobile app. Consumers can also access Walmart assets using the mobile web.
Before you create a company page on a social media platform, consider your target audience. Are they on these platforms? Note: There are many who feel that a Google Plus presence makes an important contribution to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results.
- Foursquare Business – Foursquare is a program that encourages consumers to “check-in” and let their social networks know where they are and what they are doing. As a business you can register your location and provide offers that will provide incentives for your customers to take some kind of action including sharing with their network.
- Facebook check-in. If you haven’t already you may want to explore creating a company Facebook page.
Bringing all the SoLoMo tools together: How Walmart Puts SoLoMo into Practice
Last month, I used a Nike case study to illustrate how a major brand has embraced SoLoMo marketing. This month, I would like to highlight Walmart and show how they are using SoLoMo tools and principles.
We will start with the web site. Although there is a lot to take in, the important navigation elements are clearly at the top of the page. Walmart is focused on making the shopping experience convenient and flexible.
Walmart is Local
There are options for finding and setting a store location. Local ads are clearly displayed and tailored geographically.
Walmart is Mobile
Walmart has designed the mobile app to make the shopping experience convenient. For example, using geofencing technology, the app recognizes when the consumer is in a retail location and automatically switches to in-store mode. In this mode, the app now turns a planning list into a shopping list, helping consumers find items in the store and recommending other complementary products.
In some test markets, Walmart is experimenting with allowing consumers to pay for their orders with their smartphones.
Walmart is Social
In addition to the mobile apps, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google + are the primary social media channels featured on the site for keeping up with values, tips & tidbits.
Note that the content is consistent with the Walmart brand message: Save Money. Live Better.
Since there are so many items, Walmart has cleverly added a trending tab that connects to their other media properties and highlights items that are trending.
Walmart is SoLoMo
Walmart recognizes that the shopping experience must be seamless. Consumers want to have the option to access things like shopping lists wherever and whenever they choose.
For example, consumers can shop and purchase online, or shop online then go into the store, or begin in the store. This path-to-purchase awareness is part of what makes Walmart’s SoLoMo marketing efforts successful.
Consumers are given the option to sign up for emails and SMS messages that will keep them apprised of deals. This ability to deliver multi-channel seamlessly makes today’s SoLoMo consumer preferences a priority.
SoLoMo marketing is hyper-focused on the customer experience. How well-equipped is your business when it comes to SoLoMo marketing? A plethora of tools are available; but as with any successful marketing strategy, the components must be pieced together in a way that creates a specific and satisfying experience for your customers.
Are you connecting customer touchpoints with the right tools, making the customer experience the best it can be?