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Maytag, Mondelez embrace mobile visualization, utility to drive direct sales

Maytag and Mondelez International are among brand marketers upping the ante in the chase for direct-to-consumer sales as mobile disrupts the traditional model of selling solely to wholesalers and retailers.

Maytag?s new Bring Maytag Home? mobile tool that lets consumers see what their kitchen or laundry space would look like with the latest Maytag appliances, and Mondelez?s ?buy it now? buttons, which reportedly let shoppers buy their favorite snacks from all its owned, earned and paid media, are examples of marketers? efforts to capture additional sales when shoppers intend to buy. As the smartphone explosion redraws the retail landscape, more brand marketers can be expected to follow suit.

?Branded mobile engagement tied to ROI is a hot area right now and smart brands are exploring this new frontier,? said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales for Unbound Commerce, Boston. 

?As consumer confidence with mobile commerce as a medium for converting sales increases, so does the ability to infuse marketing with ?Buy Now? buttons to capture intent to buy at the exact moment.

?By deep-linking directly to a mobile landing page or the right product detail page on a mobile commerce site, conversion rates can be dramatically increased,? he said.

Purchase funnel
Traditionally, social owned, earned and paid strategies were focused at the top of the purchase funnel, primarily driving awareness and occasionally intent. 

The shift away from organic reach for brands by many of the larger publishers, however, has created more opportunity for direct response tactics that can lead to conversion. 

"Bring Maytag Home" on mobile Web.

With Maytag?s ?Bring Maytag Home? tool created by DigitasLBi, the consumer uses a smartphone to photograph a home appliance. By following a few simple directions, he or she can swap in new Maytag models for an existing range, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine or other appliance, including different color choices. No app download is required. 

Users also receive a custom message from the Maytag Man. Photos of their kitchen with new Maytag models can be shared through email and social media.

?Mobile continues to accelerate within all shopping sectors, and appliance shopping is no exception ? giving Maytag an excellent opportunity,? said Brendan Bosch, senior brand manager for Maytag. ?Buying a new appliance is a significant investment, and shoppers like to be able to touch and see an appliance before they buy.?
The Bring Maytag Home campaign is an excellent mobile strategy for driving engagement with Maytag appliances.
?Enabling the consumer to see what a new washer or dryer looks like in his or her home, is key to taking ownership,? said Matthew Ramerman, co-founder/president of Vehicle.

?This program could be enhanced by supporting this same user-flow over MMS. Having consumers send images directly to Maytag, then pushing back the photo with the new washer/dryer in place of the old would increase participation and build an opt-in database,? he said.

Maytag?s strategy shows how mobile can bridge awareness and purchase, helping to drive sales the final mile.

The brand is mapping utility by allowing customers to visualize the Maytag experience in the home, providing a seamless way to bridge aspirational to practical. 

?For Maytag, understanding the amount of research time that goes into a major appliance purchase combined with creating relevance for the consumer opens up additional possibilities to create intent towards their offering,? said Tom Edwards, executive vice president for digital strategy and innovation with The Marketing Arm, Dallas. 

Mondelez could not be reached for comment about published descriptions of its ?Buy it Now? buttons. 

The buttons are being embedded into the company?s online media, from product pages, social media, video advertising and CRM campaigns across 25 markets, the Drum reported. Users can make purchases from one of 130 retail sites.

The snacks maker, spun off from Kraft in 2012, has made ecommerce a priority.

?Combined with targeting and mobile-centric inventory, Mondelez is looking to create a more direct call to action and create value for their retail partners,? Mr. Edwards said. 

Fifty-five percent of global consumers claim that smartphones have changed the way they shop altogether, according to a recent DigitasLBi Connected Commerce survey.

For brands, driving awareness and clearly articulating the consumer value proposition must be a key consideration when introducing new mobile-centric tools designed to add value. Having a simple user experience that also maps to a clear call to action is key. 

?One point to consider is how receptive consumers will be to predetermining occasion based consumables such as a snack which can be a more spontaneous purchase,? Mr. Edwards said. 

While mobile offers new ways for brands to engage consumers and boost sales, many marketers still lack the ability to sell directly to consumers. Fear of alienating resellers or channel partners also is an impediment.

The risk of falling farther behind mobile savvy consumers, however, is too great to ignore. Moreover, going direct increases access to rich customer data, useful for future marketing campaigns and enhancing the customer journey.

Customer experience
Maytag?s and Mondelez? efforts to sell directly to consumers reflect a grasp of the importance of aggressively managing the customer experience with no intermediary organizations.

The key takeaway for marketers is to align mobile strategy with business objectives. 

Creating intent through visualization.

?For Mondelez it is focusing on conversion and mapping a stronger call to action to their social strategies that pull through to retail,? Mr. Edwards said. ?For Maytag, it is about creating intent through visualization and utility through a frictionless consumer experience.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York