Mobile is everywhere and its potential as a marketing tool is only just being fully realised. So how can you get on board with real mobile marketing? Emily Buckman, Global Strategic Consultant, Urban Airship offers three steps to mobile marketing heaven
Headline statistics about increased smartphone usage are constantly emblazoned across news outlets, so the ever-growing popularity of these small-but-smart devices comes as no surprise. It is estimated that there will be 42.7 million smartphone users in the UK in 2017 across all age groups.
Our mobile phones have become an extension of our very being – in the UK alone, over a third of adults look at their smartphone within five minutes of waking up. Mobile is where your customers are spending most of their time from researching products ahead of visiting stores, to buying products on a mobile while physically in-store. But despite this, there are still many companies not using mobile to its full potential when it comes to engaging with customers.
Mobile engagement is no longer considered a “channel” on its own. Treating it as such limits the impact mobile can have across many points in the user experience all the way from research to purchase. It is often the first touchpoint in a customer’s journey with a brand — so implementing innovative ways to make the most of mobile should be a core focus. Screen real-estate is a precious commodity, so how do you ensure you are proactively creating a great customer experience and not just annoying your customers? Here are three things to keep top of mind.
Add value, not just notifications
Effective mobile messaging, such as push notifications or in-app messages can help you build powerful relationships, but it can be tricky to strike a balance between meaningful engagement and notifications that users might find annoying.
For example, for the fourth consecutive year, retailers’ mobile notifications send volume increased during the busy holiday shopping Cyber weekend. With all that noise and competition for user attention, it’s the targeted messages that stand out and gain even more user attention. However, this year only 5% of UK brands sent highly targeted messages to their customers - a missed opportunity.
Take note that interruptive advertising is accepted even less on mobile than on other mediums, such as TV and desktop browsing and who doesn’t love Netflix’s new “Skip Intro” button enabling you to blow past show creators’ opening credit? On mobile, even the most brand loyal customers will uninstall an app if it does not focus on their needs and provide value.
The value-add can manifest itself in many different formats. It may be a sports app alerting you that the football team you support is about to kick-off, or your favourite coffee outlet offering half-price hot drinks to customers nearby on a particularly chilly day, or even your bank letting you know about a low account balance or suspicious transactions.
Mobile allows for very rich data collection that can be harnessed to help brands reach the right people, at the right time, and with the right personalised message by combining historical and in-the-moment data. By merging customer relationship management (CRM) data, such as recent purchase history, with in-the-moment data such as location, browsing activity and point-of-sale (POS) data, brands can truly take marketing with customers to the next level.
Keep it contextual
The rich data that mobile can offer enables brands to be truly relevant in the right context. Location-based marketing, for example, bridges the physical and digital context to provide in-the-moment messaging based on a user’s location.
In location-aware mobile apps, a notification can be triggered when a user enters or exits a predefined geo-fenced location. For example, a music streaming app could recognise when a user’s most played artist is coming to play a concert in their city and invite them to buy a ticket through the app.
This can also be a way to improve customer experience without having an obvious ‘sell’ message, a tactic that fits with consumer’s attitude towards their mobile devices. For example, a music festival might use geo-location as a means to help people navigate a venue, alerting them to how long it will take to walk from one stage to another and perhaps remind them about the food purchasing options along the way.
From merging physical and digital worlds, to building a complete and contextually relevant understanding on the customer’s journey, mobile marketing can build relationships with your customers and have a positive impact on both the brand, and the bottom line.
Choose the right channel
Today’s digital world offers a variety of channels for brands to connect with their customers. Choosing the right channel for the right moment is crucial:
These are just a few of the many channels available to marketers these days. As more channels become mainstream, such as voice with smart speakers, marketers will need to continually evolve their strategies to meet their customers with exceptional experiences for every stage of the customer journey and in every unique channel that consumers want to use. No matter the channel or overall theme of your message, keeping user value and relevance at the core of your strategy is the key to winning the hearts of your customers.
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