SoLoMo is becoming increasingly common parlance in the world of marketing. And it should be. The question we need to ask ourselves is why is it so relevant, and how can marketers take advantage of it? Before investigating this question, I’ll briefly outline each component of SoLoMo.
The prestige and influence that brands once held with consumers is largely gone. Consumers trust and gather information primarily from third parties, especially through their social networks. Advice, user reviews, and experiential accounts are the main sources of the informed modern consumer and are the focal point of the SoLoMo strategy. A Sociable Labs Social Impact Study reports 62 percent of online shoppers check out product-related content from their friends on Facebook. Of those, 75 percent proceed to the retailer’s site.
Mobile and location-based services are growing incredibly fast. The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 65 million Americans are using these services and reports that 38 percent of smartphone owners are interested in receiving text messages with promotional offers that are geo-targeted–that is, based on their location. Consumer interest is heightened when the content of the message is relevant to their locality.
It is increasingly common for a consumer to research a product online before making a purchase. In addition, many use their smartphone to look up reviews and other product information while they are physically in a store. According to Vibes Mobile Consumer Report, 82 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile devices in this way. There is an understanding among consumers that fellow consumers are more objective and oftentimes more knowledgeable than the brand’s in-store staff.
This convergence of local, social, and mobile means an integrated strategy is required to keep pace with the consumer. Marketers now need to think (and act) like a consumer, staying relevant by correctly identifying and providing for their needs at the precise moment they want their needs met.
Think about this scenario: you’re at a local clothing store and see a shirt you like, but you’re indecisive and decide not to buy the shirt – perhaps it’s too expensive. As you leave the store, you check your Facebook (or Foursquare) and notice an ad for a special offer for that very same t-shirt. Now, provided with a monetary incentive, you return to the store and use this discount to purchase the shirt. This scenario already happens with remarketing in the online world, but with SoLoMo the online and offline worlds are converging, the lines between online and reality blending.
In addition to increasing business opportunities (especially for brick-and-mortar stores), SoLoMo transforms customer behavior. A successful SoLoMo campaign will increase a consumer’s connection to a brand. They begin to feel a connection with the brand, which translates into increased loyalty and, ultimately, sales.
SoLoMo is not going away, and is soon to become a major component marketers will need to consider in their long- and short-term strategies.
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Research for this post was provided by 900feet.com – a location-based contextualization and data platform.