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



One response to “Shopping Center Marketing: Direct Mail vs Mobile Marketing”

  1. Danielle Bovard says :

    You have been to a lot of merchant meetings!!!

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