A-blast’s Mobile Marketing vs. Mobile Web/App Cost-Per-Click

Okay shopping center marketing directors, I get it, I get it!  You like to see numbers, I am numbers dork myself so here you go.

If you read my post on “Shopping Center Marketing: Direct Mail vs. Mobile Marketing”, you now understand direct mail is on its death bed and the ROI on mobile marketing is 8X compared to your beloved coupon books.  

Now you tell me you want to see how a-blast’s compares to other mobile marketing such as Cost-per-Click banner ads inside mobile webpages or apps.  Well, here you go!

For discussion purposes, I am going to use a standard grocery anchored, 30-merchant shopping center.

After 12-months of installation of a-blast’s WiFi & Mobile Marketing Solution, we see an average of:

Opt-in shoppers           = 4,000
Annual visits                 = 32 per opt-in shopper
Total visits                    = 128,000

128,000 SMS messages triggered when shoppers pull into the parking lot for the year.

A-blast Click-Through-Rate is 64%, so 128,000 x .64 = 81,920 Clicks

Cost for 81,920 mobile clicks through a-blast                   = $16,000 (WiFi hardware + fees)

Cost for 81,920 mobile clicks through a mobile ad app    = $49,960 (CPC of $.50)
So, there it is marketing directors!

Ohhh, and almost forgot to mention……..with a-blast, your shoppers get Free WiFi!






What Makes Shopping Center Merchants Happy?

First of all, I applaud all you shopping center marketing directors and GMs that have to endure merchant meetings.

I have attended more than I can count and have figured out one thing.  If the merchants are happy, they don’t show up…..and if they are angry, you better plan for standing room only.    If you want to turn around an angry crowd of merchants, listen-up!

BE INNOVATIVE!  If events have low attendance, try a different type of event.  If direct mail is no longer effective, allocate those funds to social media and/or mobile.  Trust me, the merchants will appreciate the effort.  It amazes me that almost no shopping centers have a mobile website.  Do you realize over 50% of online searches are now made from a mobile device?

Just look around your center and count how many shoppers are engaged with their mobile device.  Then………….ask yourself to define your mobile strategy?  If you answer is, “don’t have one”.  Put out some extra chairs for your next merchant meeting!


Shopping Center Marketing: Direct Mail vs Mobile Marketing

Being that shopping centers are our core vertical market, it makes sense to address a topic many old school marketing directors want to ignore.

I should start by saying, I don’t even get the snail mail or look through it when my wife throws it on the kitchen table.  I pay all my bills online, my invitations to friends’ events are online and can’t think of one thing I would find of value in the snail mail.  My wife on the other hand does sift through the snail mail but I believe it is just out of habit.  My mom still will look for coupons in the snail mail so let me say that Direct Mail is not completely dead (except for Sunday and now maybe on Saturday)

The ROI of direct mail vary drastically depending on who you talk to.  Many marketing directors I meet with still have direct mail as one of the largest line item in their yearly budgets.  I have attended numerous tenant meetings and would say roughly 20% of tenants still experience an acceptable ROI on direct mail while the other 80% would like to see a reduction in this archaic form of marketing.

Let’s look at the economics:

Coupon Books

Cost: 4 coupon books annually to 10,000 homes = $32,000

Total coupons = 30 tenants x 10,000 homes x 4 coupon books = 1,200,000 coupons

Redemption 3%, total redeemed coupons = 36,000

Location-Based Mobile Marketing

Same # of coupons = 1,200,000 delivered when shoppers are at or near shopping center ($10 CPM)

Cost = $12,000

Redemption 8%, 96,000 coupons redeemed

Coupon Books Cost = $32,000        Coupons Redeemed = 36,000

Mobile Coupons Cost = $12,000     Coupons Redeemed = 96,000

Okay, so the economics don’t excite you?  Let’s compare the  two methods in other ways.

Location/Timing : Mobile – delivered as shopper enters parking lot   Direct Mail – delivered at home

Lead Time : Mobile – minutes/hours                                                           Direct Mail  – weeks

Day Part :    Mobile – send different coupons based on time of day      Direct Mail – same coupon

Green?:        Mobile – YES                                                                               Direct Mail – NO

It is the marketing director’s job to bring the most effective and innovated marketing solutions to the tenants.  Smart phones are not going away, but your tenants might!

Mark Kackley

VP, Business Development



The Future of the Mobile Experience

Location-based mobile apps are predominately the main option for local business and even national brands.  There are gameification apps such as Foursquare and brand developed apps such as Safeway’s Just for U.  Almost all of these rely on GPS/Geo-Fencing to deliver targeted mobile offers.  There are a few reasons why I believe GPS apps will struggle in this ever evolving mobile world.

1.  More and more people are leery of being tracked via GPS.  The first question asked when downloading an app is “Can we track you via GPS”?  I believe more and more consumers are answering “NO” and some even have GPS turned off.

2. HTML5 and mobile web will be able to deliver much of the functionality that made apps desirable.

3.  App-athy, app retention is very low.  If you download an app today, the chance of you still using it 6-months from now is 14%.  The mobile experience needs to be automatic.

What is your prediction?

Welcome to a-blast’s Blog!

As the first post, I thought I would introduce myself and the company. My name is Mark Kackley and I am VP of Business Development for a-blast.

a-blast is an app-less mobile marketing technology company that leverages Free WiFi to generate larger opt-in mobile marketing databases. Our core verticals incude shopping centers, casinos, and stand alone QSR/retail. Our proximity based solution delivers targeted SMS and HTML messaging when customers are on and off-premise. Offering Free WiFi enables a-blast to obtain 10x the number of opt-in users vs mobile app downloads. Unlike inaccurate GPS/Geo-fencing solutions, a-blast uses a customers’ proximity to our WiFi access points to deliver targeted mobile offers.

I will try to provide valuable insight on the mobile marketing industry including any case studies conducted by a-blast.