These are clearly early days for what’s being billed as the nation’s first national mall-based mobile advertising network. And it’s understandable that General Growth would follow its retail customers’ embrace of offer-driven loyalty. Here’s how the program currently works:
Consumers who sign up online with mobile number and other preference data at http://www.theclubmobile.com will receive discounts and offers via regularly scheduled text messages. Those who sign up stand a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.The loyalty business is waking up to the fact that earning loyalty requires more than offering customers deals. At Loyalty EXPO earlier this month, there was lots of discussion about the shortcomings of across-the-board discount oriented programs and the need for a more nuanced approach.
Here are a three ideas for General Growth and others like them to harness the unique opportunity that mobile affords them to drive profitable business to their tenants and provide real value to end users:
- School’s out, and moms are looking for low cost things to do with the kids. Mobile alerts about local mall activities like face painting, story telling, and other goings-on would be welcome news and smart uses of SMS for moms on the go.
- People are looking for value, and stores are offering all kinds of discounts and deals on services like gift wrapping, not just merchandise. Marketing these service type deals in advance of a shopping trip may fall on deaf ears as they really become relevant once the shopper is at the mall. Mobile alerts about tenants offering free gift wrapping, or other services would be useful and again, don’t require any additional spend or discounts beyond what the retailer is already offering.
- Shoppers at high-end properties like General Growth’s are tuned into good-works and brands with a social conscience. Malls are a great venue for supporting those good works. Whether it’s hosting a local area clean up that gets the locals involved or a pancake breakfast honoring the local fire department, the mall is a gathering place and natural community venue. General Growth could use other media to promote these events in advance and mobile to promote them the day they’re occurring to drive participation.
Increasingly, community is where we make it…and that includes the mall.