Mobile is currently a nightmare for marketers looking to catch up. According to recent statistics, less than half of marketers have adopted any kind of mobile strategy. Justin P. Williams, Senior Marketing Strategist Marketing Services, StrongMail, loos at what’s stopping marketers from getting on board.
Customers no longer interact with brands through rigidly defined channels. The spread of mobiles (and more recently tablets) opens new opportunities for the marketer, as well as new challenges.
Customers now expect to be able to establish contact with their favourite brands via mobile devices as well as through your website and other more traditional channels. Understanding how customers are accessing your information, and which marketing messages they would like to see on which platforms, is crucial to success.
This might seem like it’s asking a lot just to reach the same customer. If you don’t adapt, however, you’ll slowly begin to lose your customers to your competitors who do react to their customers’ needs. Also, you’ll miss the opportunity to win a younger generation of customer.
According to the Office of National Statistics, 71% of 16-24 year olds access the Internet on their mobile phone, over twice as many as in the 45-54 year old category. The rate of adoption increases with every passing generation.
The need for mobile marketing therefore is clear, and it applies to nearly every industry. Are you addressing that need? Is your mobile marketing strategy up and running? If the answer is no, you’re not alone.
Recent research shows that less than half of all marketers (45%) have adopted any kind of mobile strategy. Common reasons include a lack of clear strategy and a lack of resources.
So now that the need for a mobile strategy has been established, here are some strategies and resources to help you get started down the path you know you should be taking.
Mobile Strategy: Send the Right Message
The whole reason for treating mobile differently than your other marketing is because your customer expects to see different information presented in a different manner.
In the past, the half page ad in the papers could look exactly like the promotion on your homepage and your customer wouldn’t notice the difference. Imagine that same ad, however, viewed on a 3.5 inch screen. The effect will be lost.
Begin to separate the desired message you wish to convey from the content that conveys it. Once you’ve decided what you want to say, separate the decision about how you will say it based on channel. A text message is going to look different than a website, and email formatted for a mobiles device should look different than email formatted for a full screen.
Once you’ve made the message fit the channel, now you must learn which channel your customer prefers for which type of message, and deliver accordingly.
For example, a segment of a retailer’s customers may wish to receive text message alerts about sales, but not new items. They may wish to receive coupons through email formatted for a mobile device, but they don’t want to be sent photos of clearance items at all–they would rather view that on a website.
How can you tell which messages your customers want to receive, and through which channel? Discovering their exact preferences is tough. One way is to ask them; through a simple survey, or by providing a preference centre where each customer can actively select what they would like to see on which channel. Or you can use a tool that offers insight into which platforms a particular customer is using.
Resources for Mobile Marketing Deployment
The two steps you need to accomplish right away are:
1. Build creative content that works on a mobile platform
2. Understand what your customers are using and what they prefer.
The technology to render emails and websites for mobile devices has nearly caught up with the wildest dreams of many marketers. As web standards have advanced and mobile software has become more uniform, it is easier for marketers to create an experience appropriate for any mobile device.
With increased complexity, however, comes an increased need for experienced developers to build these templates. It may be best to outsource for your first mobile campaign. An experienced team (always ask for samples) will teach you even as they work, and you’ll be able to take the framework they build and expand from a solid base.
When seeking to know your customers, surveys can give you detailed results, but in low quantities. One useful tool is Pivotal Veracity MailboxIQ, which gives detailed reports on the platforms used by your customers.
It’s important to determine your strategy first, then search for the tools necessary to accomplish your strategy. Once you’ve decided on a course of action, look online for other companies that have done similar campaigns, and see what tools they used.
Creating the right marketing experience based on the channel is the new priority for the marketer. Investment in mobile is money well spent. If you’re among the 45% who don’t yet have a strategy, you need to get started so you aren’t left in the dust.
By Justin P. Williams
Senior Marketing Strategist Marketing Services