Mobile marketing for the future

Dec 20, 2011 By Kim McGrath

Bar code scanner apps turn smart phone cameras into a way for shoppers to receive instant, on-the-go, online price comparisons for any item with a Universal Product Code. Does this mean consumers are moving toward online purchasing if they can buy at a cheaper price?

“A brand’s value is a function of the benefits it delivers to relative to the cost of acquiring those benefits. I challenge my students to think about enhancing benefits to increase value, rather than simply cutting price,” says Associate Professor of Marketing Sheri Bridges. “Price is the easiest marketing decision variable to change and the one that’s changed the most often. But the discount spiral is difficult to get out of once it starts, and if it’s easy for you to do, it’s just as easy for your competitors.”

Students in Bridges’ class learn that good marketing is about providing the right value to the right customers. “Discounting amounts to paying customers to like your brand. That’s rarely a sustainable long-term strategy.”

In addition to teaching, Bridges is the faculty director for the University’s recently launched retail marketing center, which is working to find innovative strategies to capitalize on mobile technologies that benefit manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

comScore survey found that 6 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code in June 2011. And 54 percent of those people who scanned QR codes have a household income of $75,000 or more. Mobile barcode scanning increased 1,600 percent globally during 2010.

“We are just beginning to incorporate smart phones into marketing strategies,” Bridges says. “This technology has the potential to change the shopping experience and provide added value to consumers that may help reverse the reliance on price reductions.”

Examples of marketing trends that connect consumers and their with improved shopping experiences include a major retailer’s use of a 42-inch in-store touch screen where customers can shop a full online catalog and scan bar codes for extra information and product recommendations; and smart phone apps that offer location-based gaming, dispensing rewards to consumers for checking-in to stores.

“When a brand goes on sale, it gives away part of the profit margin needed to invest in innovation and quality,” Bridges says. “As we look toward the future of retail, marketers must find alternatives to discounting. Companies cannot afford to develop the newer and better products we all want if we continue to lower prices and reduce profits.”

Explore further: 3 Qs: Economist makes the case for new quasi-experiments as a way of studying environmental issues

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gas versus groceries

Mar 10, 2011

A University of Alberta researcher says grocery retailers need to take heed that a jump at the pumps will be a blow to their bottom line. Alberta School of Business professor Yu Ma notes that if stores want ...

Marketing expert tracks online shoppers

Nov 28, 2011

Online retailers have long wondered if trumpeting consumer-behavior statistics on their websites could hurt business. Qi Wang’s new findings should ease their fears, just in time for Cyber Monday.

Cigarette packaging needs to change, study says

May 18, 2011

The messages that cigarette pack labels convey to smokers and nonsmokers have been evaluated by Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers in three studies published in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

Apr 17, 2014

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Performance measures for CEOs vary greatly, study finds

Apr 16, 2014

As companies file their annual proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this spring, a new study by Rice University and Cornell University shows just how S&P 500 companies have ...

Investment helps keep transport up to speed

Apr 16, 2014

Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores

As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published ...

Hyperbolic homogeneous polynomials, oh my!

Cutting-edge mathematics today, at least to the uninitiated, often sounds as if it bears no relation to the arithmetic we all learned in grade school. What do topology and combinatorics and n-dimensional ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...