Brands find mobile adds potential to CRM mix

More brands are looking to add the mobile channel to build relationships and be a part of the CRM mix. Sears, FedEx, The Weather Channel and 1-800-Flowers are all using this medium to engage consumers on a deeper level. Sears, for instance, has added customer service on mobile, showing if items are in stock. ?

“Most of what we are seeing from mobile CRM has been SMS-based, but we are now starting to see click-to-call, store locators, ‘view our catalog’ and ‘buy our product’ buttons,” said Michael Dulong, SVP of business development/founder of Billing Revolution, a mobile billing platform. “There is a lot of potential here.”?

Some brands are integrating mobile with other channels in a move to build customer databases or to keep a consumer more engaged with the brand.?

“We’re seeing brands increasingly realize that every single [mobile] ad is a CRM opportunity, and that is by virtue of the fact that a mobile phone is in a consumer’s hand almost all the time,” said Adam Lichstein, COO at ShopText, which works with clients running these integrated campaigns to build a customer database.?

For example, a brand can run an ad in a magazine and, when a customer texts in for a promotion, the customer’s information is captured and matched up with the existing information in the database. This information is then targeted for CRM efforts. Johnson & Johnson is working with ShopText on a print/text campaign, using the effort to capture names and get consumers to sign up to receive a free product sample in the mail.?

While mobile has benefits for CRM programs, it also has its challenges. They include, rendering issues on different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as varied carriers, networks and devices. ?

“The budget challenges also remain. Merging media are often a low priority in terms of media spending,” he added.?

“As mobile evolves, we’ll see it become even more important for a CRM channel, but for now it is still in its infancy,” said?Matt Harris, CEO of iLoop Mobile. “Now, we can track if someone uses a coupon from a mobile phone, but we can’t track what they have bought. It will evolve so that we can track this information and put it into the funnel.”

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