We talk a lot about how mobile marketing can help your brand, but what better evidence than firsthand stories from a Vibes client who has been leveraging mobile for five years? Recently we held a webinar with Hibbett Sports' Caitlin Lindner, Senior Marketing Manager, and Sarah Sharp, Vice President, to understand the role that mobile marketing plays in their overall strategy. Here are highlights.
Mobile Marketing is a “Shoe-In”
While Hibbett Sports began implementing mobile marketing strategies in 2014 with the goal of driving in-store traffic and to speak to an evolving, yet demanding, younger target customer, with the launch of the brand’s e-commerce site in 2018, an additional goal became to drive traffic there, as well as to boost BOPIS sales (buy online, pick up in-store).
Along the way, Hibbett Sports, which has more than 1,000 stores across the country, has had some notable milestones in mobile marketing. Sharp said in the webinar that the most notable accomplishment was launching SMS/MMS for the first time in company history, as well as implementing an SMS/MMS-based loyalty program.
Hibbett Sports understands that shoe fanatics take their shoes seriously, and to that end, the brand created the Product Launch List, which notifies customers about new product releases before they hit the stores.
Lindner added that the Raffle Alerts List, launched earlier in 2019, was another big win for the company. Through the brand’s app, rabid shoe fans can enter to “win” the right to buy a highly-coveted, limited edition shoe. They are then sent a text message that they won, and given instructions on when and where to pick up the shoes.
Today, Hibbett Sports’ mobile database is 1.65 million strong and growing.
The Value of Mobile for Hibbett Sports
Hibbett Sports recognized early on that it needed to connect with younger consumers in a meaningful way, and now they’re well entrenched in that customer relationship.
Mobile has provided the brand with the opportunity to speak digitally to a consumer that it might not have had previously in its database. And now, with data points on those 1.65 million subscribers, the brand can continue to engage customers in meaningful ways. This was a huge boon when the brand launched its e-commerce site.
The data takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows the marketing team to analyze and iterate based on what they learn from mobile marketing campaigns.
What Makes Hibbett Sports’ Mobile Marketing Successful?
There are three elements that Hibbett Sports attributes to the success of its mobile marketing efforts:
The brand invests enormous energy into training staff across all stores on mobile marketing strategy and campaigns. The Visual department ensures there is signage to drive mobile opt-ins throughout stores that focus on the benefits of the program.
Communication among employees, as well as to customers, is constantly updated to ensure its relevance and efficacy. And technology, of course, plays a major role. Hibbett Sports isn’t afraid to try new things and constantly looks to the data to ensure they’re on the right track for marketing goals. Part of the technology piece of the pie is working with the right partner to ensure success. We’re thrilled to have such a long-standing and successful relationship with this client!
What’s Next for the Brand?
Hibbett Sports will continue to find meaningful ways to connect with Gen Y, Gen Z, and even Gen Alpha using mobile and 1:1 conversations.
One effort the brand plans to develop further in the future is its BOPIS program. Allowing shoppers to reserve or purchase products online and pick them up free at their local store not only bridges the gap between online and offline, but it also allows the brand to collect valuable data points along the way.