Old Is New Again: SMS Trumps Daily Deals For Retailers This Year

by , Dec 5, 2013, 8:31 AM
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textingIf the latest data from BDO USA's survey of marketers is accurate, then retailers have raced away from the daily deal model that many thought would be the salvation of local digital advertising only a few years ago. Coming via eMarketer, the survey of CMOs finds that only 5% plan to use flash sales or daily deals as their primary mobile channel in their holiday marketing plan this year. That is a radical decline from the 30% who planned to feature that channel last year.

Well, I know that in our house the number of un-redeemed daily deals my wife and I mounted up forced us to put a moratorium on them a while ago. As eMarketer analyst Noah Elkin notes about the shift in focus among marketers, “In fact, aside from flash sales and daily deals, all mobile marketing channels were expected to gain in popularity this year -- suggesting that limited-time offers did not perform as well as hoped for in 2012.” Marketers said they intended to make greater use of both QR codes as primary channels (17%) and apps (17%).

This is not to say the discounting model is entirely spent. This survey was asking what channels were primary in the plan. Couponing of a different sort -- direct-to-consumer mobile coupons -- has attracted considerable attention from marketers. While last year only 20% were using them as a primary mobile channel, this year 28% planned to. This may also be an indication of the maturity of relationship the brands have with customers, in that they have more direct routes to get a coupon to the consumer without intermediaries.

But messaging is the big winner here. Last year 23% of CMOs surveyed considered it a primary mobile channel to consumers, but this year 33% do. Again, SMS is a more intimate and direct route, and it is available to marketers who have successfully gotten customers to opt in to receiving messages. This is deja vu. Longtime mobile marketers will recall the early days when text messaging absolutely dominated spend on this platform. And after all of these years, it is still unrivaled in its simplicity, open rates, and impact.

Man on Smartphone photo from Shutterstock

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