For gardeners with a wandering eye, the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence. For Ted Dzialowski, executive chairman of Nutri-Lawn Inc., makers of eco-friendly lawn care products, growth beckons from a smaller screen.
The Mississauga-based company is set to launch a marketing campaign geared towards lifting the business’ exposure and customer engagement by linking Nutri-Lawn’s existing print and online couponing campaign with the use of a mobile wallet application.
“Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. Mobile will be the way businesses will be doing marketing in the near future,” said Dzialowski. “We expect to see a five to 10 per cent lift in customer engagement and our coupon campaign with this program.”
Nutri-Lawn intends to roll out the program throughout this fall and next spring.
The program makes use of QR (Quick Response) codes to load discount coupons onto customer’s smartphones. A QR code is a square bar code that when scanned by a reader incorporated into a smartphone’s camera, typically links the phone to a Web site that has additional data about an ad or product.
Nutri-Lawn is using the Walgo mobile app from Omnego Inc., a Toronto-based technology start-up company that specializes in mobile wallet and mobile marketing applications. In contrast with Nutri-Lawn, which is a 26-year-old company with a network of locations that stretches across Canada and the United states, Omnego is a 12-person company that started out in 2009 and launched its first product just last year.
However, Dzialowski favours Omnego because of its unique approach.
Most current QR programs, the Nutri-Lawn executive said, offer a relatively minimal level of customer engagement as they simply link the user to a mobile Web page to view an offer.
Omnego’s mobile app goes a few steps further. The app includes a QR code reader, digital wallet functionality, mobile marketing, mobile coupon distribution and redemption capabilities and message alerts features, said David Thomas, founder and CEO of Omnego.
“Other platforms are very specific. Either they focus on QR codes or are geared towards mobile marketing,” he said. “Our platform can be incorporated to mobile commerce, mobile Web sites, and even provide analytics.”
“Our platform can also be incorporated into social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others so that users can connect with their customers wherever they are,” Thomas said.
Transitioning from print and digital to mobile
“This is going to be a transition for us,” said Dzialowski.
Nutri-Lawn’s current coupon program is based on print and online digital coupons. Like other non-mobile coupon programs the program involved customers either cutting out coupons from print ads or printing them out from Nutri-Lawn’s Web site. Customers then took these hard copy coupons to a dealer to redeem the coupons.
“We cultivate a lifetime engagement with our customers. We wanted a coupon program that would reflect that and not at the point where our customer redeems the coupon,” said Dzialowski.
He believes the right mobile application will enable Nutri-Lawn to keep that connection with a new demographic of customers that are increasingly interacting through their mobile devices.
“In the last five years we have been experiencing a tremendous sea change in the way people communicate, obtain data and carryout transactions. Statistics show that the number of people access the Internet through their phones than their computers,” said Dzialowski.
While most of the over 300,000 mobile apps developed in the last three years were for games, news, maps, social networking and music, the online mobile marketing site MobiThinking reports that mobile payments will be worth more than $240 billion by the end of 2011 and could reach as much as $1 trillion by 2015.
Nutri-Lawn intends to implement the QR code program beyond coupon distribution.
Dzialowski said through Omnego’s analytics capability, the QR codes will provide Nutri-Lawn with better insights into its customers’ research patterns and purchasing behaviour.
“We will be posting the QR codes in all our advertising materials, Web sites, print and online messages to customers and even our vehicles,” he said.
The idea is that when customers scan these codes, Nutri-Lawn will know where they are engaging with their customers and which medium are more effective that others.
“The system will also provide Nutri-Lawn with click-through rates, conversion rates, length of engagement, social media pass through (how much people are passing on the information to their social network friends) and other metrics,” said Dzialowski.
He also sees the program being extended to include mobile payment sometime in the future.
Nestor Arellano is a Senior Writer at ITBusiness.ca. Follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, read his blogs on ITBusiness.ca Blogs, email Nestor at [email protected] and join the ITBusiness.ca Facebook Page.