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Adobe And Vibes Build Location-Based Marketing Around Mobile Wallets

The companies have integrated their technologies to make the digital wallet a marketing tool in mobile campaigns.

Adobe’s integration of mobile marketing company Vibes’ platforms could pave the way for greater adoption of mobile wallets by local retailers — and also revolutionize the mobile wallet as a marketing tool.

To be clear, the partnership is not about supporting the actual mobile payment transactions. Rather, the deal calls for Adobe’s marketing cloud software to incorporate Vibes’ Catapult Mobile Relationships Management platform which will allow the enterprise software company’s digital marketer clients to easily create and align campaigns and content that are intended to spur the use of mobile wallet systems. The content can include news about discounts or new store items sent to consumers via email,  SMS, and push messaging — all through a single application. The marriage of the companies’ technologies greatly enhances the usability and relevance of mobile wallets for the large retailers Adobe works with, as well as for consumers.

Vibes' Mark Tack
Vibes’ Mark Tack

Vibes knows some of these large retailers well, as it too has relationships with them — a fact that served as the “linchpin” between the companies, says Mark Tack, VP, marketing at Vibes.

Birds Of A Feather

“We share so many large enterprises with [Adobe],” Tack says, citing Pep Boys and Sears as examples of retailers that use Vibes to power their mobile marketing campaigns and Adobe Analytics to measure them.

In light of the Adobe/Vibes partnership, these retailers are “able to use an email with an Adobe campaign and add the mobile wallet functionality from Vibes which let’s their users save their mobile coupons in the Passbook, if they’re an iPhone user, and in the Google Wallet, if they’re an Android user,” Tack adds.  

Another large client shared by both Vibes and Adobe is Pitney Bowes’ marketing services company, Imagitas. The Pintney Bowes unit has “implemented most of the Adobe marketing cloud, and used all of Vibes capabilities,” Tack says. Imagitas will soon be launching mobile coupon and related support functions for Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet.

“The integration is really easy,” Tack says. “It’s as simple as you create your content, and our software produces a single smart link, the marketer puts that smart link wherever they want in the Adobe marketing cloud. Let’s say it’s an email in Adobe campaign. So you’ve got your email in Adobe campaign. You put a big button on there that says, ‘Save this coupon to my phone,’ and just simply put the Vibes wallet link in that coupon as the post-click destination.

“From there, the API kicks in to serve up personalized content — such as a loyalty discount offering — to users, Tacks adds. The content is powered by the analytics being brought together by both Vibes and Adobe. If the content appeals to a consumer, they can easily save the pop-up to their iPhone Passbook or their Google Wallet.

Mobile Wallet Marketing

Bringing loyalty and rewards features into a mobile campaign via mobile wallets should be welcomed by retailers, as they will no longer have to use multiple  platforms to accommodate consumers and brands’ various devices and programs.  Consumers should also respond favorably as now, they won’t need to go to a separate app in order to log loyalty points or redeem rewards.

The move will also likely boost the use of mobile payments in general, as now customers will have an incentive that other than convenience to use them. That said, Roger Wood, group product manager at Adobe, is careful to point out that the focus of this partnership is not about powering in-store mobile payment transactions — it’s about the marketing that drives consumers and businesses to use them more efficiently and effectively.

“It’s a critical distinction,” Woods says A lot of people, think of mobile payments when they hear ‘mobile wallet,’ so we like to use the phrase ‘mobile wallet marketing.”

Adobe's Roger Woods
Adobe’s Roger Woods

If retailers haven’t cozied up to the concept of mobile wallet marketing, Woods suggests they may when consider two of its core aspects: location awareness and malleable mobile real estate.

In terms of illustrating the value of location-awareness, Woods points to the typical, cumbersome example of a consumer at a store who wants to use a coupon they’ve been emailed. As they approach the cashier, they have to pull up the email and have it scanned at the register.

“That is all seamlessly taken care of now and [it is] location aware,” Woods says. “To be able to present to me as a consumer, ‘Hey, you have 10 dollars off at this store, you’re here, use it, don’t forget,’ is so [valuable]. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve either left a restaurant that had a punch card and forgot to put the punches after I bought meals. All those different types of consumer ease of use that builds brand affinity — that’s just one area around the location awareness and the ease of use.”

As far as owning mobile real estate goes Wood offers an example: A marketer blasts out an email touting a sale on President’s Day weekend. The consumer then drops that into Passbook or wallet manager. When President’s Day weekend passes, the marketer  still owns that virtual real estate within the phone’s wallet. The Adobe and Vibes program allows that retailer to dynamically change that past offer from 30 percent to 15 percent and send a message: “Hey, we missed you on President’s Day weekend, here’s a new deal.”

Furthermore, the offers can be personalized based on what the customer relationship management system has to say about their shopping history.

“[The marketer] can tie all of that digital activity back to point of sale and in store redemption and feed that back in the CRM,” Woods notes.

The Next Step

Adobe and Vibes have high hopes for retailers to begin incorporating mobile wallet marketing into their strategies, and suggest that it’s just a matter of taking the next step, one that Tack and Woods insist doesn’t take much work, especially when you consider that most of the retailers they work with already use mobile wallets.

“Nearly all of our large retailers are doing mobile wallet today. It is such a no brainer and it’s actually very easy to set up. You can literally create this content in half an hour,” Tack says. “From a testing and experimentation standpoint, most of our clients have an email campaign, they have a text messaging campaign, they have a mobile ad campaign, and they just say, ‘Why don’t we just create some mobile wallet content and see what happens?’ It usually starts as a test, then, after doing it once, it turns into, ‘Okay, this is real, these are some of the best results we’ve ever seen, we need to now go forward and do this as a standard rule of thumb for all of our marketing campaigns.’”