For decades customers have come into a jewelry store to see jewelry. Sales associates would unlock a glass display and present the jewelry using a soft pad to rest the jewelry on. The real engagement did not occur until the jewelry was out of the case and put on a pad. That is now changing. Now jewelers can engage prospective customers by putting their jewelry on an iPad. Today more consumers are using these devices to identify vendors by location.
How can jewelry marketers be sure their approaches are relevant to a marketplace that is changing so quickly? At this time last year, there were no iPads. Today there are around 15 million in use. Sales are expected to be over 50 million in just 2011. Smartphone sales are growing in double digits every month now. Consumers are adopting new technology at unprecedented speed. Mobile marketing is be adopted at rates much faster than the public accepted online search. Consider how more consumers are now using Google Maps to search on their mobiles. Consumers search Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find their location and look for a particular retailer. This is a consumer trend that is affecting local business and retail jewelers should be considering how they compete in this new marketing frontier. The old saying in business was: What are the three most important things to consider when starting a new retail store? For decades the answer has been location, location, location. The most powerful part of mobile marketing is now digital
location! Retail jewelry marketers should consider mobile marketing to be similar to point-of-purchase (POP) advertising. While this form of advertising has been pricey, the value was recognized by being in the right place at the right time with consumers who are actively in the marketplace for jewelry.
Mobile and location equal the right place and right context. Mobile location-based ad spending was less than $50 million in 2010, but is expected to skyrocket to close to $2 billion by 2015. Already nearly 20 percent of the 2010 holiday shoppers reported they would use their smartphones for finding a store that sells what they are interested in. Over half said they would use their devices to research proposed purchases.
Facebook is now the largest display advertiser online. That makes sense when one considers there are over 500 million Facebook users around the world. Facebook did not exist until 2004. Consider how Facebook has become a communication utility. Now people get e-mails originated on Facebook. The usage of Facebook will only increase as more consumers adopt their use of iPad devices due to video. What looks like a photo becomes a video when clicked. We all love streaming video and the technology is now affordable and becoming more available every day. This sort of integration is going to support more commercial applications and the new marketing communication messaging opportunities are very exciting for marketers.
Jewelry marketers must focus on the primacy of their brand as marketing becomes more complex. Marketers are going to have more channels to communicate and connect with their targeted customers. This is going to put more pressure on marketers to leverage integrated marketing communication (IMC) to be sure their core messages and brand image are clearly and consistently communicated through all channels. Marketers have more channels to get the word out and connect with the consumer. This puts more pressure on them to be sure the central message and the brand image stay clear throughout all channels.