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Five ways to demystify mobile marketing

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7th Jan 2015
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In a recent VentureBeat Insight research report, the second biggest issue facing companies in mobile marketing is simply that “many marketing professionals do not sufficiently understand mobile marketing”. Timely education and trialling different strategies and tactics for mobile are clearly the way to bridge this gap.

The fact that only six in ten companies today are using mobile communications comes as a surprise considering the fact that The International Telecommunication Union estimates there are nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, equivalent to 95.5% of the world population. Relying on a plan for mobile that can be distilled into either “we’ll be ok when the time comes” or “we’ll get lucky” is not sustainable, and these statistics should strike home to anyone who believes in a rehearsal before the main event.

One challenge for marketers is the constant innovation in mobile. The next wave in the development of mobile devices is wearables. For example, the recent announcement of the Puls, a smart watch type device that can be used independently of a smartphone, makes it clear that mobile is no longer restricted to phones. Boundaries are being tested in the hardware world that will have direct implications for marketers, who seek to build a strategy around mobile.

Considering these new technologies, investing in proper planning, and then testing a sound mobile strategy is crucial. The wide adoption of smartphones means that nearly all customers are reachable with rich content on these devices, and the future market for other mobile screens is looking positive too. By not targeting this channel, businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity. Furthermore, mobile is only likely to grow, and could become the primary channel for customer contact, as the 2020 milestone is reached.

As complexity grows, an understanding of the mobile market and a strategy to utilise it will become a business pre-requisite. To help marketers get to grips with mobile, and help them create a winning mobile gameplan, here are our top five pieces of advice.

1. Make your experience count

Creating a mobile strategy is not just a case of making the most of the growing proliferation of mobile devices; it’s a strategy to make the most of a shift in social behaviour and consumer expectation. The opportunities exist already: a study by Infinite Convergence found that more than one in three mobile phone owners now subscribe to mobile messages from businesses, with 91% of mobile owners opening a message within 15 minutes of a notification. You don’t need to be told how valuable that amount of eyeballs on your message can be.

That said, every day we see emails sent from companies that distort badly on a mobile device and links sent via SMS or as an OTT message for a website that will only display properly on a desktop. This user experience damages the consumer’s view of the brand; in fact according to a recent research report released by analytics firm Netbiscuits, 91% of consumers, particularly across the 18-34 age range, will turn to a rival brand if the mobile site is inadequate. A mobile gameplan means connecting up all relevant parts of your outreach to fit the lifestyle and technology of your target audience.

2. Say something important

Although it may work as a learning exercise, running a “Hello World” programme to test a mobile strategy is never going to bring the results you want. There is no point in having a solid outreach and interaction strategy if the material you are using isn’t up to standard. As with broader marketing campaigns, content is king here.

Plant your stake in the ground and gain visibility, right from the off. By making use of the many methods of interaction available through modern evolutions in mobile tech, coupled with more general marketing tactics, creative teams can be let off the leash when it comes to planning. With choices running from video to rich images, immediate p2p connection, augmented reality overlays and location aware apps, there are possibilities that marketers wouldn’t have ever considered even three years ago. Have fun with content by truly embracing mobile technology!

3. Streamline processes

The explosion of mobile devices isn’t just useful as a way to engage the sales process, post-sale customer service can also be generated to benefit both the company and customer. As an example, a quick text confirmation prior to a package delivery can confirm if a customer will be available to receive a product, preventing a wasted journey by the driver and a missed package for the customer. By taking continuing the engagement in this way, the customer feels special, like they are valued, and are far more likely to purchase again if they feel part of the end to end process, so long as it is streamlined and beneficial to them.

4. Look forward and get personal

Mobile has become an inherent part of how people talk to brands today. Taking advantage of the technology coming onto the market can lead to benefits that far outweigh the costs. For example, just by moving a loyalty scheme from a physical card to a mobile app can mean the difference between a customer remembering to use it or not. It’s crucial to approach customers in line with their expectations.

Personalised services delivered quickly and in a timely manner offer a serious opportunity. Target a customer with a discount whilst they browse the shelves in a shop, or text to remind them of a free teeth whitening service 6 months after their last dental check-up. It’s a pathway to low pressure and personalised marketing that allows brands to engage directly with customers, rather than becoming a supplier or replaceable service provider.

5. Bring it all together

You can have the most creative team in the industry but without the data to show the results of how well a campaign is going you won’t be able to prove success. Measurement should be at the centre of any mobile gameplan, as with any modern marketing campaign.

Play the game

Mobile phones, watches, trackers, tappers, sensors and zappers. It’s not even ahead of us, it’s happening right now. We haven’t reached critical mass yet in terms of interactive devices, but it’s only a matter of time. New wearables from established brands are coming through almost weekly now. Is it worth waiting to see what the next brand does to drive sales through these devices, or will you acknowledge early that this is happening and prepare by putting a mobile gameplan firmly in place?

JF Sullivan is CMO & SVP strategy at Acision.

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