SXSW and the Long-Term Mobile Sell

Sometimes using mobile to sell can be a lengthy ordeal focused less on the sale and more on the shopping process itself.

In two separate and unrelated presentations at MediaPost’s OMMA at SXSW conference this past weekend, this became somewhat apparent.

In the presentation “Don’t be Allergic to Mobile,” Colleen Sellers, director, allergies franchise, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, detailed the lengthy process of attracting consumers.

The company created an award-winning app that provides consumers with allergy information based on numerous factors, such as location and related pollen counts.

The company, which markets Zyrtec, the leading OTC allergy brand, found that a large number of users of the app are not yet users of Zyrtec.

Sellers said it takes a ‘conversation’ with consumers as part of the process of converting them to the product, and that conversation is ongoing via the app.

Later in the day, leading marketers from a car company also walked through their mobile selling process approach, which was in many ways similar to that of McNeil Healthcare.

In a joint case study presentation by Kimberley Gardiner, national marketing director at Toyota, and Kayla Green, director, digital strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi LA, the car-company’s agency, the duo spoke of the connected consumer journey.

Though a much larger one-time expense than allergy medication, the future mobile car shopping experience portrayed struck me as being quite similar, with Toyota empowering car shoppers and dealers with an eye toward providing information and tools to make the process easier and more interactive.

Both companies provide mobile tools to help consumers in their respective shopping journeys. There’s no hard sell or push to buy in either case.

Rather than trying to sell, both companies are providing mobile tools that facilitate the shopping process itself.

This transforms what could have been a one-way attempt to sell into one of helping consumers navigate their way throughout the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

Rather than selling, the companies are helping consumers buy. 

As a result, there’s considerably more engagement and interaction with the brand and ultimately the product.

And that is the long-term mobile sell.


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