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Mobile marketing masterclass: How to integrate mobile into your marketing mix

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18th May 2010
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The Mobile Marketing Association's Paul Berney outlines how mobile should be integrated into wider marketing campaigns to produce effective and tangible results.

Integrated marketing has gone through several stages of evolution in the past few decades. First, marketers had to add websites to their campaigns, then social networks and now mobile has emerged as the key channel to include. So why is it becoming such a key element of a marketer’s toolbox, and how should it be integrated into wider marketing campaigns to produce effective and tangible results?

Ever improving handsets, smartphones, larger screen size, better web browsing capabilities, longer battery life and "all you can eat" data packages have led to the explosion of consumer mobile use for more than just voice and text. With more than 100% mobile penetration in developed markets, it presents brands and advertisers with a wealth of opportunities to establish an emotional and interactive engagement using rich, immersive content platforms.
Mobile’s target-ability, reach, location awareness and direct, interactive link with the consumer make it an ideal means for marketers to deliver on the promise of effective one-to-one marketing, while the delivery of relevant, tailored and timely messages offers high conversion rates and attractive returns on investment. It is a unique marketing tool that represents the one communication channel that lets the consumer control, encourage and define the interactions with their chosen brand – anytime, anywhere.
Mapping the customer journey
An easy way to work out where mobile fits into the marketing mix is to map the customer journey and all the touch points and figure out where mobile could be used to extend, enhance or replace other channels. When looking at the range of communications channels available to marketers – print, radio, television, online or outdoor – it becomes immediately clear that mobile, like no other channel, has the ability to make these traditional communication channels truly interactive and dramatically improve their effectiveness.
For many consumers, mobile is an access point to allow them to get to things they want. Consumers have an increased expectation of the ability to instantly interact with brands and organisations and they are increasingly aware that mobile is that access point. Marketers should consider how they will deliver that instant interaction and what happens when they open up a two way dialogue with consumers.
Mobile allows consumers to act at the point of impulse and is therefore an ideal call to action on other media. The fastest way anyone can react to a call to action is to put their hand in their pocket and text a single keyword to a five digit shortcode. As a marketer you should be figuring out what happens next, not wondering if consumers will do it. It also works well as a connector between both other channels and the physical world. If the aim of your campaign is to drive people in-store for example then consider how mobile can be used to do that by having a mobile call to action in other media which delivers a voucher, coupon or promotional code to their handset which can only be redeemed in-store.
Essentially though, mobile is about customer acquisition, retention and brand building. Marketers should consider how the mobile channel can be used for those three fundamental tasks. But this should be done from the outset of a campaign - you increase the likelihood of mobile being considered a failure if it is added as an afterthought or used as a standalone channel. It also needs to be considered in an entirely different light to TV or direct mail – it’s not simply another version of one of these channels and should not be approached with the same mentality.
Marketers cannot, or at least should not, start with a frequency and reach approach to mobile, for example. It is essential to understand that consumers will opt in to receive messages if you get their permission, understand their preferences, respect their privacy and deliver communications that have something inherently valuable about them – whether that be financial, entertainment or utlity-based.
Utility and entertainment
That said, mobile marketing communications based on utility – those that aim to make the consumer’s life easier by providing access to information or services – last longer than those based on entertainment which are likely to be used only once or infrequently. Or as Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy once put it: "It is easier to be repeatedly useful than it is to be repeatedly entertaining". If you can create a campaign element using mobile that provides consumers with something useful you have a much greater chance of creating a permanent brand presence on their handset.
It’s also important to consider all mobile technologies - you don’t need to start with an app just because they are the things that everyone seems to be talking about at the moment. Just because it appears that everyone has an iPhone or smartphone, don’t assume your target audience does. Create a strategy for mobile that allows for the use of messaging (SMS and MMS) which represents the lowest common denominator in mobile.
For several years now people have been talking about mobile as the ‘third screen’ after television and the computer or even the fourth screen, if you include cinema. It has certainly emerged as one of the strongest channels, and perhaps the most powerful for the future. Indeed, MMA research found that average mobile marketing budgets increased by 26% in 2009 even as overall marketing expenditures declined by 7%, and we’re expecting mobile ad spend to grow from to $2.16 billion in 2010. My advice to marketers seeking to use mobile now is – use it to enhance and extend the other channels.
Use it as an access point for consumers, answering their demands for convenience and need. Ensure that communications are contextual; based on time, location, need and the individual; as well as demographics like age and gender, and which respect consumer choice and privacy of course. If marketers can take these points into consideration then they will find that mobile offers a fantastic opportunity to interact and engage – it’s always there in someone’s pocket or bag. It will become an increasingly dominant channel over the next few years, but in the meantime its best use is in the strengthening and extension of other campaigns, helping to bring multiple channels of communication together and bringing context and relevance to each.
Paul Berney is MD for EMEA at the Mobile Marketing Association

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