Mobile is central to a successful marketing strategy, says Gilt City CMO

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Brands must include their mobile marketing team in top-level discussions about business strategy, said Heather Hopkins Freeland, CMO of local deals site Gilt City, on July 18.

“Your mobile team should be sitting at the table as you're figuring out who you want as your consumer, how do you interact with them, and how do you market to them,” she said during her keynote address at the IAB Mobile Marketplace conference in New York. “Mobile really should be at the top of your business.”

Freeland said mobile should be a priority for businesses because of its ubiquity among consumers. She added that the medium is also an important platform through which to engage consumers because “it is the only device that is with you at every point during the day.”

Gilt City and sister site Gilt.com, which features a daily online flash sale at noon, see mobile and tablet use spike at the end of the work day and on weekends, so the sites added mobile-only sales for those times to “capitalize on that behavior,” said Hopkins Freeland.

However, she added that a challenge for marketers is to remain top-of-mind with consumers on mobile devices. To that end, “partnerships are key,” said Hopkins Freeland, because consumers may more easily find a brand through another, more frequently used mobile service. She referenced Gilt City's partnership with Foursquare that delivers the site's deals through the location-based app.

“We know that not everyone is going to have the Gilt City app on their phone. We know that we can't rely on them to come to us,” said Freeland. “We're always looking to get a deeper connection with our customers and to go to where our customer is for customer acquisition.”

The Foursquare partnership, she said, earned Gilt City “brand visibility and awareness for customers we might not have had before.”

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