If you look around, you will see that virtually everyone carries a smartphone. Yes, even kids have their own devices. In fact, there are nearly 3.5 billion unique mobile users. By the end of 2015, there will be 4.9 billion connected devices. Wow!
Because the rise of mobile usage has skyrocketed, the culture of communication has changed, and marketers need to keep up by understanding how their prospective customers prefer to communicate. I'm not too far off the mark by saying most people prefer to communicate on their mobile device because of convenience alone. Whether it's text, email, apps, video, coupons, social, talking, or emerging ideas popping up all the time, we're heading for unchartered territory. That means we're really not quite sure exactly what the downside is. I think we owe it to ourselves to play war games with mobile marketing to think about the "what-ifs." If brands are not smart about their mobile strategy, it could potentially be damaging to the brand and customers.
It's possible companies fail to connect with customers because the
mobile strategy is missing the mark on a few critical components.
Here are eight key components for any mobile strategy that you need to think about before you start a mobile marketing initiative. If any of the items listed below are off the mark, you may fail to "connect" with the customer the way you want and could push them even further away from conversion.
Irrelevant Content: Put your consumer hat on. Do you like it when you get spammed from companies that are sending you irrelevant communications? Brands must make sure they are producing content that is perfectly aligned with their persona's needs. If they don't, their competition will, and that will be revenue lost.
Poor Timing Of Communication: Marketers tend to pay attention to the timing of emails, social posts and believe it or not, even their direct mail (does that still happen?). That also means we must think about the customer, their habits, desires and needs, and serve them the perfect offer at the perfect time with the right message. If a text based offer for a lunch special comes at dinnertime, guess what? We've missed the opportunity.
Continued Communication That's Not Relevant: The key here is "continued" communication. As a brand, it is considered a cardinal sin to continually send communication and marketing messages to prospective customers and even existing customers if the message is not relevant. This will annoy them and soon they may unsubscribe from your communication channel - then you've lost them. You invested time and money to get them, now you need to spend the extra time to figure out what they want, when they want it. This increases engagement, website traffic, customer lifetime value and ultimately increases revenue.
Don't Forget About Location: Mobile marketing is not just about connecting with the customer. It's also about understanding their location as well. The retail market is a perfect business model to leverage the power of mobile, especially when they take advantage of location data. This data helps the marketer have a more complete data set, which allows them to craft strategies more effectively - thus increasing engagement, retention and store traffic.
According to Google research, "Four in five people use search to find local information. Collectively, these searches provide a view into consumer interest and intent in a given place. Today, we can use that intent to offer the most relevant ads, but that's only half the picture. Location data can also provide rich consumer insights that inform strategy from the start, before there's even an ad to distribute." - Lisa Gevelber, VP, Americas, Google
Coupons: Regardless of your business, a coupon can be used to drive in-store foot traffic, online conversions, and customer retention or even help promote a new product or service. In a highly competitive market, coupons show value to the customer, especially if it is delivered in a timely manner with the right message. There are many ways to use a coupon and a mobile device is the perfect vehicle to deliver the brand message anywhere, anytime.
Overall Value To The Customer: Marketing 101 says, if the brand is not offering value for the customer, a transaction won't occur. When mobile marketing is not offering value to each and every customer, the brand in essence is communicating to them that they just want your name, mobile phone number and of course your money, not your respect and trust.
Find The Right Mobile Partner: This is an absolute must for any CMO or CIO looking to dive into mobile marketing. I have experienced a few poor decisions when agencies were hired and they didn't really have the expertise needed to execute. The tip here is to find a mobile company that knows mobile marketing strategy and technology better than anyone else. You don't want a company that's just a reseller of another knock-off service. Additionally, make sure the mobile partner has a robust customer centric service team to help when you need it. When you do find a company that can do all of these, you will soon realize they are the smartest firms and you want them to be on your side because mobile technology is moving at warp spend and your agency partner must be able to move with it successfully.
"Finding the right mobile partner is important because you have worked too hard to win the loyalty of every single customer you have! You would not consider a partner that did not know technology, but knowing the mobile tech is merely the ante. To serve your brand--every day, on every connection--your partner must be a leader who has built the mobile competencies and customer know-how required to master mobile connectivity that drives customer loyalty." - Greg Thorson, 3CInteractive
Think Like A Customer - Act Like An Intelligent Brand: Don't allow your mobile marketing to negatively impact your sales. Make sure you take full advantage of the data sets that are available. This will help you not only understand your customer, but communicate with them on their mobile device in a precise manner and location that truly excites and engages them to want to make the effort to purchase. Take advantage of all your customer data sets and think like a customer, but act like an intelligent brand.