I’m sure you have heard the term So-Lo-Mo (Social-Local-Mobile) bandied around your office in recent weeks but what does it actually mean and how can retailers, publishers and networks all get behind this initiative and start spreading these three syllables quicker then Fri-Day-Drinks.
So I’ll start by showing I’m down with the latest lingo by giving you an explanation behind So-Lo-Mo. We’re all used to hyperlocal search, users are presented with geo-located news, offers and deals through online search engines. So-Lo-Mo progresses this further as users now get local offers and search results through their tablets or mobile devices. With the rise of smartphones integrating technology such as GPS, there’s been a sharp rise in geo-located offerings and now accessing shoppers psyche on the move is a modern day reality. The progression from Lo-Mo to So-Lo-Mo has been brought about by the fact that these offers can be instantly shared through calls, SMS, and social networks.
So now you know what it means, you can start showing off and dropping it into conversations like it’s going out of fashion! There is more to know though, as with any new idea; retailers, publishers and networks all have responsibilities to enable everyone to get involved.
The requirements for retailers are the need to have a mobile optimised site with affiliate tracking and the systems in place to close the gap between offline and online. These functions are imperative to So-Lo-Mo being successful in the affiliate space. The mobile ready sites will ensure conversion rates remain monetarily worthwhile and the tracking means all parties can monitor the effectiveness of different campaigns and adjust their offerings accordingly.
Another recommendation for advertisers is to start investing their mobile search. This area is still niche despite being on the up! The rise is similar to desktop search ten years ago. Competition on keywords is scarce and the top ad results consume a large percentage of space on a mobile screen which lends itself well to securing most of the search traffic available. Investing in this area well whilst having a fully functioning mobile optimised site with tracking and you will be well on your way to gaining strong revenues through the mobile channel.
Publishers on the other hand could tap further still into the So-Lo-Mo aspect by building in social functionality for their apps and mobile optimised sites. Currently you can link to social networks but there is a distinct lack of visibility on which offers have been posted by users on social networks and how far they reach. If publishers could do this, it would clearly outline the effectiveness of mobile in terms of building brand awareness alongside sales.
Perhaps another aspect of this could be the addition of a ‘top 10 shared offers’ by location and by volume. This would give prominence to the exclusive offers but also showcase brands that had engaged the publisher’s audience. Reporting back to a retailer, you’d inform them which offers are effective and build a case for similar future promotions.
The network conundrum
Finally, as a network we are here to assess the requirements of So-Lo-Mo and embrace it into our systems. We need to encourage conversations with our current retailers and publishers regarding their So-Lo-Mo efforts and build relationships with new partners/third party solutions to ensure we can offer a fully comprehensive service.
Now with the requirements out of the way, I couldn’t complete this article without mentioning a couple of exciting initiatives Affiliate Window is involved in to aid retailers and publishers to go So-Lo-Mo. The first is our agreement with MyMCart who have created numerous mobile optimised sites for our retailers so they can dip their toe in the water. With mobile tracking and voucher code functionality implemented automatically, it also means that they can start utilising the vast majority of publisher apps that are currently available in the marketplace.
Another relationship is our white label offering of Vou-Cha-Cha. The combination of our technologies will allow us to track mobile redemptions into our interface. A mobile redemption can be the download of a voucher near a retailer store or the actual purchase of a product offline.
To conclude, I have outlined requirements for retailers, publishers and networks to embrace the So-Lo-Mo phenomenon. I look forward to seeing where this technology takes us in 2012 and beyond. It’s an exciting question as to whether it truly becomes a valued aspect of affiliate marketing campaigns but whatever the result, at least we all now know how to do it!