Tips to create a smart mobile marketing strategy
March 5, 2013
In the past year, the mobile marketing channel has taken off, with consumers increasingly taking advantage of mobile access and marketers pouring money into creating mobile experiences. My sense, though, is that much of this money is simply being wasted on “sub-optimal” initiatives. I believe there are two primary reasons this is occurring.
1. No Two Channels Are Created Equally
A lot of waste occurs when the mobile channel is viewed only as another option to do all of the things that are currently done in well-established channels (i.e., lots of time gets spent making sure that the website renders properly on the phone, without truly understanding customer context or needs). The alternative is to establish unique communications that are focused exclusively on what an “on the go” or “surfing” customer might need — to hone down and sequence the message or content to align with both the unique capabilities and limitations of mobile devices as well as with the customer’s likely frame of mind when they are using their mobile device.
To eliminate waste in this space, determine how your customers are actually interacting with your brand from their mobile device, and ask them (or infer) what it is that they really want to be able to do. Think of this audience as a subset of customers who have unique needs … then market to them accordingly. Structure the mobile experiences so that they can easily get to the information they need most, without having to navigate through less relevant information and waste precious time (which, over time, can hurt your brand). In the end, you may need different ways of serving up mobile content – for example, apps for frequent users and mobile-optimized sites for occasional users).
2. Mobile Experiences Should Extend the Brand … In-Store and In Every Channel
Another area of significant waste is the creation of mobile experiences that are not well aligned with the brand strategy. The fact that mobile users love to play games on their phones does not mean that every brand needs games to enhance the customer experience. The question is, how best can the brand be delivered in this channel? In what context will users be seeking out your brand?
For example, retail customers are primarily experiencing the brand when they are in the store, engaging with retail personnel and in-store merchandising. So how best can the mobile channel be used to enhance that experience? The use of apps is one way that marketers can connect with their most engaged customers, but what about the less engaged? You may want to explore the use of geo-fencing and push communications as an alternate means of reaching customers who might see value in being engaged with a relevant message at precisely the right time and place.
In either case, the opportunity is to create a better in-store experience AND to extend the experience for the customer beyond the storefront. Encouraging customers to check out current promotions, access additional product information/reviews, and/or download coupons are some of the most common options. But what about extending the in-store aisle with a virtual one by providing store-specific maps for “hard to find” items … or giving customers an easy way to contact customer service directly to address any questions/service issues they are having? And how about helping them plan their next visit after they leave, with relevant promotional offers that are coming up, special in-store programs that might be of interest to them, or even a survey to learn how best to serve them during their next visit?
These types of experiences will create unique, more meaningful connections with your customers, adding unexpected value to their experience and reinforcing the value of your brand.