American Marketer


A blueprint for luxury brands to go mobile

November 1, 2010

Saks taps mobile at its locations


With the economy on the mend – gullible enough to believe the data – it’s time for luxury brands to get out of hibernation and seriously launch mobile marketing and commerce efforts.

Luxury brands typically are the cautious sort, but this is not the time to waffle or waste – today’s consumer is online, mobile and in control. Luxury marketers need to work with ad agencies, ad networks and mobile marketing and commerce firms to begin incorporating mobile into multichannel efforts in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Here is a roadmap to help luxury brands with their mobile marketing and commerce efforts.

Why Mobile for Luxury

• The audience is on mobile devices

• One out of two mobile phones in use by next year projected to be Web- and application-enabled smartphones

• Consumers don’t simply talk and text on mobile phones – they browse, shop and buy

• Mobile devices give what consumers seek in the relationship with brands – control

• More content consumption on mobile – news, in particular – offers opportunity for contextual advertising

• Part of the multichannel experience

• Steve Jobs – the No. 1 influencer today of product design, marketing, commerce and customer experience

• Ease of communication with friends, family, coworkers and brands

What Consumers Want from Mobile

Neiman Marcus NM Gifts iPhone application

• Ability to search, shop and buy on the device

• Receive SMS-based offers, updates and retail traffic drivers when opted into mobile CRM programs

• Browse mobile Web sites and applications for product information, store location, pricing, inventory availability and in-store merchandise reference

• Same experience as online

• Rich media experiences on tablets such as the iPad

Crafting a Mobile Strategy for Luxury Brands

• Study audience habits – buying and media-consumption patterns

• Is the product or service suited to mobile marketing or mobile commerce?

• Discuss channel conflict issues internally

• What have you done on the traditional Web?

• Will the luxury experience and brand values translate well to mobile?

• Marketing or sales, or both – make objective clear

• Mobile is a medium comprising many channels, but it also serves well as a traffic driver to retail or online experiences

• Dedicate the resources – HR, budgets, time and patience

Michael C. Finas QR code campaign

Luxury Marketing with Mobile

• Establish a mobile-friendly Web site, even if it’s a simple landing page and a couple of other pages reflecting the brand values and core information

• Apply for a common short code to begin SMS marketing that ties in with the brand’s overall loyalty marketing efforts

• Run targeted mobile advertising on reputed publisher sites and across mobile ad networks with banner ads, rich media units and video

• Mobile search optimization – work with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo

• Deep pockets? Build a full-fledged mobile site and application with shopping and transactional capability

• Use retail stores and catalogs to drive mobile database buildup

• Employ SMS to opted-in consumers to push traffic to stores

• Promote short code signup and application downloads in print, television, mail, online and catalog ads

• Repurpose runway material on mobile to extend the luxury experience

Brands That Get Mobile

Mandarin Oriental launches commerce-enabled app to service affluent travelers

Neiman Marcus shakes up holiday shopping with iPhone app

Lexus boosts brand with launch sponsorship of Esquire iPad app

Bentley connects with elite auto enthusiasts via iPad app

Godiva mobile revenue up 57pc since January: panel offers mobile coupon via 2D bar code in TV ad

Grand Marnier takes a shot at mobile

Saks Fifth Avenue drives consumers in-store via location-based promotions

Jewelry retailer Michael C. Fina drives foot traffic via QR codes

Tiffany & Co. marries mobile with interactive to sell engagement rings

Again, Why Mobile for Luxury – and Why Now?

• Mobile enables luxury brands to reach consumers at each step in the marketing funnel – awareness, trial, persuasion and loyalty

• The consumer is already on mobile – don’t fall too far behind


• Mobile Marketer, the leading publication covering mobile advertising, marketing and media:

• Mobile Commerce Daily, the leading publication covering mobile commerce and mobile-driven retail:

• Luxury Daily, a publication covering luxury marketing:

• Mobile Marketing Association, the trade body for mobile marketing:

• U.S. Common Short Code Administration, the registry for short codes: