What is SoLoMo and Why Is it Important to Marketers?

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SoLoMo is an acronym for Social+Local+Mobile marketing and it is an increasingly common term referring to a new marketing approach.

Marketers who approach today’s SoLoMo consumer with a new mindset are delving into exciting territory with plenty of opportunity.

Before explaining its importance and relevance to Marketers, I’ll briefly touch on each of the three aspects of SoLoMo—social, mobile and local.

Social: Consumers are social

Consumers no longer look to brands as the primary source of information; today they are more likely to consult third party resources and others in their social networks. Common social activities are: seeking advice, reading or writing reviews, or sharing experiences via a social network.

“What are the implications of all this sharing and connectedness?” Get this: 62% of all online shoppers read product-related comments from friends on Facebook and 75% of these shoppers click through to the retailer’s site. (source: Sociable Labs Social Impact Study).

Mobile: Today’s Consumer is Largely Defined by Their Mobility

Shoppers today routinely contact brands multiple times using different devices and platforms, often for one transaction.

82% of smartphone owners said they always have their phones with them when they are in-store (source: Vibes Mobile Consumer Report). Mobile devices are empowering consumer behaviors; often consumers know more than a brand’s front line staff.

Local: Consumers get Social Where They Are

65 million Americans use mobile or location based services (source: Pew). The proportion of smartphone owners using location-based services has grown almost 35% in less than a year to 74% in February of 2012, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Although there are many local platforms like Foursquare, SCVNGR, Yelp, Around Me, etc., don’t overlook email. Amazon is using email to deliver hyper-local offers.

38% of smartphone owners were open to receive promotional messages via SMS when the messages were based on their location (source: Consumer Perceptions of Mobile Marketing for Strongmail). This statistic reveals what an opportunity local marketing can be; local relevancy heightens consumer interest in receiving messages right where they are.

New Marketing Landscape

Consumers’ seamless moves between channels and platforms make it incumbent on Marketers to have an integrated strategy. Someone can check-in to a store using a location based app like Foursquare, redeem an offer, share a comment on that platform, then immediately post an update to their Facebook wall or other platform, all the while referencing the retailer’s Facebook page.

New SoMoLo Mindset Required

Now more than ever marketer’s must “walk in a customer’s shoes” and identify where the customer experience isn’t up to par. This requires embracing a growth mindset, being curious, asking questions, and thoughtfully considering each step of the buying cycle.

Listen to conversations taking place in this new space. Audit your social presence and be sure to avoid 4 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Mixing Social and Marketing. There is no “one size fits all” solution; implementing solutions in this land of opportunity will require experimentation.

Of course, the critical goal is still selling products or services, but hopefully in a way that creates loyal consumers who will ultimately use more of what you have to offer and tell others too…in large part because of the stellar customer experience you’ve provided.

SoMoLo Opportunity

A successful SoLoMo strategy benefits Marketers–not only by increasing business, but by transforming consumer behaviors. When SoLoMo campaigns are successful, consumer engagement with the brand increases. Consumers feel connected to the brand and become loyal brand advocates. Through word-of-mouth sharing, consumers can build a brand. Loyal consumers are also willing to offer feedback and help identify issues that the brand can improve upon. Knowing that they have a voice, consumers and businesses benefit from a spirit of collaboration, co-creation and innovation, which turns into a win-win.

What ways is your company embracing SoLoMo marketing?

Author bio: This publication is contributed by Joseph Ruiz. Joe is President of Strategic Marketing Solutions, a full-service marketing and consulting firm specializing in web-based integrated Relationship Marketing. Joe thrives on the ever-changing nature of marketing in the digital age, embracing interactive opportunities, while applying three decades of hands-on expertise in online and traditional marketing. When he’s not helping business-makers navigate through complex marketing challenges, Joe enjoys reading, working out and traveling just about anywhere…anywhere you can get a digital signal, that is.

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