Home Depot was one of the earliest retailers to have embraced mobile, hoping to benefit from the increasingly important role mobile plays in consumer shopping behavior. They made early bets on mobile marketing, and now find themselves way ahead of the mobile learning curve.
As early as last year, they signed with the Weather Company to take advantage of Twitter’s video offering. They incorporated their “Project of the Week” videos within the tweets, then targeted mobile consumers by location, passions and other characteristics.
What is Home Depot’s secret to their successful mobile strategy? Trish Mueller, the company’s chief marketing officer, employs a mobile strategy that aims to provide personalized mobile services which adds value to the shopping experience. We have condensed Home Depot's mobile marketing approach into 6 guiding principles that they abide by. They are as follows:
- Home Depot always looks through the customer's lens.
- Home Depot has a mobile first mentality.
- Home Depot believes in right sized content.
- Home Depot succeeds by engaging their customers with relevant communication.
- Home Depot doesn’t believe in dead ends.
- Home Depot continually tests and learns.
Home Depot looks at their marketing decisions through their customer's eyes first. They put the customer at the center of their culture, and that’s part of the reason why they have been so successful. This is a mentality that goes beyond mobile, but it’s also the reason why they are early movers into mobile marketing.
Home Depot has realized that their customers are doing a lot of research online, and over 30% of those searches are done on a mobile device. Whether they’re watching a how-to video or looking up a product, the experience has to be simple and easy no matter the device. This is why they expanded their Buy Online program to their app and mobile site, while still providing access to 400,000 different products. They understand that TV no longer commands their customer's full attention, and is often viewed simultaneously with mobile devices. So they've made mobile an integral part of their marketing.
Compared to other media, there is far less real estate available on a mobile screen to convey a marketing message. For Home Depot, the message and content has to be optimized for all devices across all platforms. They make it a point to ensure that it's easy for their customers to use and understand.
One of the beauties of mobile is that Home Depot can get feedback from their customers instantly. Instant surveys can be used to find out, for example, what area of the store do customers spend most time in, are they gardeners, do they like to paint often, are they avid power tool users. Why is all this important? Because Home Depot can use this information to send engaging and relevant offers based on customer’s mobile profile. Home Depot is talking to their customers about subject and issues that they’re most interested in.
What that means is that if a marketer asks a customer to watch a video, or read up on a product article, there should be an incentive at the end of that video or article to reward the customer for spending time learning about it. This can come in the form of a product coupon, an exclusive discount promo, etc. The idea is to add real value to the customer in order to earn their trust and build a mutually beneficial relationship.
This is my favorite. Home Depot is the first to admit that they don’t have all the answers. Nor do they pretend to have figured out mobile marketing. Mobile technology is moving so fast that no one can claim to have the answers. So Home Depot has taken a learn-and-adapt approach. Just because they don’t have the answers hasn’t forced them to sit on the side lines of mobile. Instead they continually experiment with mobile, always staying ahead of the curve as the hardware retail industry leader in mobile marketing.
There you have it. Home Depot’s 6 point mobile marketing strategy.
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