I remember doing a presentation in London regarding mobile marketing. The 1st thing I asked everyone in the room was to take out their mobile and hand it to the person on their right. After speaking for 5 minutes, I came back to the mobiles…and asked the audience whether they were looking at the phone in their hand? Or their own phone which was now in someone else’s hand J. This was a simple exercise to show the audience how much our mobile devices have become a part of our lives. We are all now walking around with our Telephone and Camera and PC and MP3 player and Games console and Social Media and Internet access in our pockets. Which kind of makes this a marketing dream.
Communicate with your customers in real-time
Before all this technology was developed, the only real way to attract your users to a campaign/offer which you had running would be direct mail, SMS (which can be seen as intrusive, I will come back to this) or to send an Email…and hope the user opens it in time. Sure, you could use TV, Radio and Billboard advertising but these channels are mainly used for creating brand and or product awareness and not specifically targeting your customers. Would you really get the people you want to actually remember what they’ve seen and log on to your site later? (I wouldn’t as my memory is not that great).
What the “smartphone revolution” has done is made it easier to communicate with your customers in real-time.
Stats like 90% of smartphone owners access the same Email account on mobile and desktop. (ExactTarget– “The 2012 channel preference survey” (2012)) and More Email is read Mobile than on a desktop email customer or via webmail. (Litmus –”Email Analytics” (December 2012)) tell us that users are carrying their “hand held marketing enabler ” or mobile device as some people call it, everywhere they go. This means that, as a marketer, you can now communicate 24/7 with your customers and attract them to the latest campaigns/offers on the spot.
This is probably the easiest question to answer. Using the different techniques available in the market at the moment, means that it is possible to create a real-time tailor made marketing experience for your customers. This could mean anything from push messages through a mobile app or Email marketing with device/location recognition and responsive design making it easy for the user to interact with your brand. Giving the user the feeling that you are communicating with them on a personal level therefore enhancing the customer experience.
Another great benefit of this is the cost (Every boss’ favorite subject). Creating effective campaigns which are mobile optimized, cost a fraction of the production costs for traditional media. The success of your campaigns can also be easily measured which, in turn, means you can use this response data to tailor your messages further to your customers’ needs.
Using latest techniques and systems such as device recognition (displaying images/links depending on the user’s type of device) or responsive design (this scales the HTML to fit the viewing screen, meaning no need for “zooming in”) makes it easier for the user to interact with your brand.
Using SMS (as I referred to earlier) is a little trickier. Users can often find this a too “direct” method of communication and can have adverse effects if not used correctly. Users are, in general, very protective of their mobile number. If a company then starts sending direct marketing messages through to the number, the user will become easily irritated and your campaign will have had a negative effect. SMS can therefore be best used as a service tool, providing user with latest information rather than offers.
Mobile apps are also a very strong way of getting your message across as the user will have to download the app, meaning they are already interested in your brand. Sending “Push” messages through the app is then the perfect way of informing your users about latest offers.
No need for overkill
This is pivotal in your customer journey regarding mobile contact. No need for overkill. Your customers/users will appreciate a smooth process with nicely timed and easy to engage communication…but they won’t be happy with a brand being pushed on them. Like stressed before, our mobile devices are very important to us, so the communication to and through these devices should be handled with care. As a user, I enjoy interacting with my mobile. The last thing I want is too much communication being pushed on me which then turns my mobile into a hassle. Using strategically timed lifecycle campaigns can really improve your relationship with your customer. Let them know, that when they interact with you…you are listening and interacting with them.
I believe that using the mobile device of your customer to your advantage is a must, but you must remember that the device is quite personal to each individual. Creating personalized, nicely timed lifecycle campaigns is the best way forward. Make sure your communication is easy-to-read and easy to interact with by using responsive design/device recognition etc. This will give you the best chance of, not only attracting the customer, but keeping their attention.
Mobile has now become the easiest and definitely, one of the most important ways to interact with your customer. Using it incorrectly, can actually give a customer a very negative view of your brand (crazy, but that’s the world we live in!). Using this in the correct manner can strengthen customer relationships and customer loyalty.