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Hobby Lobby drives in-store sales with timely mobile ads

Hobby Lobby is using mobile coupons and location to its advantage with an advertising campaign that encourages consumers to visit a store to redeem a time-sensitive offer.

Hobby Lobby is running ads inside the mobile sites of news organizations such as The Associated Press and the Denver Post. The coupons are good for one week and must be redeemed in-store.

“We’ve seen a good return on mobile advertising. While the mobile site is good on its own, the mobile advertising portion has proven to be effective,” said Scott Harris, advertising manager at Hobby Lobby, Oklahoma City, OK.

Hobby Lobby sells arts and crafts supplies. Hobby Lobby and its affiliated Hemispheres, Mardel and Crafts Etc.! retailers operate 540 store locations in 41 states.

Mobile savings
The Hobby Lobby mobile ad features the company’s logo with copy that encourages users to tap for a 40 percent off coupon.

When consumers click on the ad, they are redirected to the coupon section on Hobby Lobby’s mobile site. The page features a four-digit code that consumers can use to receive 40 percent off of any regularly-priced Hobby Lobby item in-store.

The mobile incentive is time-specific and can be used for a one-week period of time at Hobby Lobby locations.

To redeem the coupon, Hobby Lobby employees can enter the code at the point of purchase.

From there, consumers can browse Hobby Lobby’s mobile site to sign up for email newsletters or to find weekly deals and stores.

Running time-sensitive mobile ads is a smart move for Hobby Lobby. Not only do the ads give users an incentive to shop, but the immediacy of the coupon hooks consumers to visit a store the same day.

Hobby Lobby’s mobile site is not commerce-enabled, making the primary goal to drive consumers in-store, making a mobile advertising a great medium to use.

The mobile coupon from Hobby Lobby

Mobile craft
In July, Hobby Lobby launched an iPhone application, which includes similar features to the company’s mobile site, including being able to download coupons, see weekly savings and check gift card balances.

Although the app is not performing to the level of Hobby Lobby’s mobile site yet, Mr. Harris expects it to grow with consumers as a way to access the brand regularly from their smartphones and tablets.

According to Mr. Harris, one of the primary reasons that Hobby Lobby invests in mobile advertising is because of the ROI that the company has seen as a result.

“Mobile is one of the key parts of our strategy – anything digital has been performing well for us,” Mr. Harris said.

“Mobile is always a component we use when we go into a new market,” he said.

“If the trend holds, mobile will continue to be an important part of our strategy in the future.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York