How Visa bets on connected moms to drive mobile payments
As Visa continues to evangelize its mobile payment platform, Visa Checkout, the brand has seen strong support from connected moms, who can quickly take an offer viral.
The global payments company undertook a partnership with Pizza Hut last year that saw the quick service chain offer a buy one, get one free offer to consumers who paid via Visa Checkout. The promotion enjoyed a viral release, as a significant number of digitally savvy mothers shared the campaign with each other in a bid to help their friends receive a free pizza.
“We have two core demographics: millennials and connected moms,” said Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa, Foster City, CA. “The connected mom community is incredibly viral and supportive of each other.
“There are things we did with certain merchants that went viral very quickly,” he said. “We broke some online records with Pizza Hut, that’s one reason why they’re back for their sophomore year.
“Categories we initially focused on were QSR, apparel, and consumer electronics. I feel like we’ve stuck to our strategy and have been selective about with whom we go to market and what we expect.”
Targeting the right demographic
Visa initially sought to market to demographics that frequent quick service chains such as Pizza Hut, which may include an onslaught of millennials. However, in targeting that specific sector, the brand ended up unearthing another valuable target audience: connected moms.
This group of mobile-savvy women is extremely connected to their devices as well as the community which they have built up. If these users stumble across a great mobile coupon or a giveaway, they are extremely likely to share it with each other in the hopes of saving some money.
Consequently, brands with valuable deals may see these promotions go viral on social media. In the case of Pizza Hut, Visa Checkout awarded customers with one free, one-topping large pizza if they paid for a meal via its mobile or online platform.
Visa saw fantastic success with this campaign, mostly due to the connected moms.
The company will likely keep these results in mind when rolling out its holiday marketing campaigns with a slew of existing and new brand partners.
“We wanted to coincide our marketing efforts with the very times there was an organic spike in ecommerce and mcommerce,” Mr. Curtin said. “We have one of the most comprehensive marketing communications pushes in payments right now in what we’ve got for the fall and holiday season.”
Visa has also been branching out into new sectors this year, as evidenced by its decision to bring mobile payment options to the pump. It recently teamed up with Chevron to bring Visa Checkout to select branded gas stations in California this fall, a collaboration that was marked by a video spot featuring United States soccer star Carli Lloyd (see story).
When paying at a Chevron station, consumers can hop out of their car, view the instructional clip and complete the transaction with their smartphone. Visa’s commercial was also uploaded onto YouTube.
“The quality of the [Carli Lloyd] spot I think is really strong,” Mr. Curtin said. “It is cool that Chevron and others are sitting back and saying that consumers may want to pay at the pump via mobile.
“To me, it’s creative strategic thinking. At the moment it’s creating a market that does not necessarily exist.”
Brands should be aiming to think outside the box when it comes to reaching potentially lucrative new segments.
However, one thing is certain: mobile payments have cemented their status in commerce, and marketers who have not caught up to this phenomenon will be at a severe disadvantage with consumers, as early as this holiday season.
“We’re a category leader in payments,” Mr. Curtin said. “The category itself is in explosive intellectual and capital growth.
“Every day you wake up and something new is happening in the space. In the future, there could be four or five incarnations of Visa on you at all times – whether a card in your wallet or in the watch on your wrist or on the mobile phone in your hand.”
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York