On Tuesday December 15, Placecast hosted a webinar aimed at finding new approaches that are working for retailers to increase brand affinity and drive repeat traffic into their stores. Moderate by Janye O’Donnell, the retail reporter for USA Today and co-author of the book, Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-somethings are Revolutionizing Retail,the discussion provided insights for retail marketers, agencies and mobile vendors alike.

It’s fairly safe to say that the “year of mobile” was slated to be 2007/2008/2009 and now, we’re looking to 2010. Outside of the ever-changing forecast, it remains that mobile is becoming increasingly important and to frame the discussion of the webinar, panelists where asked: WHY? Jeff Montgomery, Chief Revenue Officer of 1020 Placecast, notes that retailers want to know how they can leverage the unprecedented access they have with consumers via the mobile device. One of the general themes throughout the discussion is the power in the relationship based and medium that such a personal deceive holds.

As for how do consumers view mobile marketing and what appeals vs. detracts from the experience, Kathryn Koegel, President of Primary Impact Research, shared some of her extensive research on the subject. Koegel’s observations have found that consumers are open to mobile marketing as long as two key elements are present: relevancy and opt-in. A powerful way to create relevancy is by combining the concept of location to the mix, as pointed out by Dustin Jacobsen, Technical Director for Barkley.

One of the issues with tying the power of location to mobile is scale. When asked what mobile marketing options are working at scale for retailers, right now SMS is the only channel that is doing this effectively. The cost effective medium allows you to, as Jacobsen mentioned, “start basic and utilize key learnings (that can be rolled out to additional initiatives); test, test, test!”

To hear the entire discussion, including topics such as how mobile fits into your overall marketing mix as well as what retailers are doing this well today, listen in by downloading the recording here.