Four out of every five smart phone users in the US accessed retail content on their device in July 2012, with the retail giant Amazon receiving 49.6 million visitors via mobile devices alone.
Among all interactive marketing platforms, mobile marketing is expected to grow 38% over the next five years with an estimated $8.2 billion being funneled into it by the year 2016. This rapid shift in consumer behaviour is too significant for brands to ignore and survival depends on the ability to adapt to this very dynamic retailing environment.
As Smart phone apps, social media, mCommerce, digital wallets and mobile enabled websites become much more mainstream, there is a rapid need for new thinking and entirely new marketing strategies to capture and leverage this growing and extremely lucrative market.
Brands who best understand consumer behaviour as they engage in mobile interaction will be in the best position to capitalize on the shift in market dynamics. Critically, brands that are early movers and embrace mobile marketing are much more likely to boost bottom line profitability and lead with greatest market share.
Connecting with your Customers 24/7
Adapting to mobile marketing is not as easy as it might seem. The multiple different ways you can communicate with your target audience is vast and growing everyday as new social platforms and apps are launched to market every week.
However the ability to connect in a meaningful way has become increasingly sophisticated and challenging for brands. Customers have a bewildering array of choice. Now its about how you cut through that barrage to attract their attention, give them something they want on their terms and continue to build your brand relationship and meet their needs that is a critical part of the brand strategy mix.
Customers are now connected 24/7, if they choose, through hand held devices such as tablets, mobile devices and particularly smart phones. Shopping, banking, entertainment are just a click away and the ever-expanding array of functions each of these has to offer has led to a massive shift in brand interaction through how and when people buy. Online buying behaviour is very fluid and dynamic.
Consumers now demand seamless interaction across all channels. Brand touch-points through all mediums are now expected rather than seen as a value-adding benefit. Customers want to interact with brands on their own terms and increasingly develop affinity with brands that provide a ubiquitous view of purchases, loyalty points, social media tie-ins and customized experiences. Personalized and location-based marketing techniques are moving from ‘desirable’ to ‘essential’.
3 Tips for Understanding the Right Mobile Strategy for Your Brand
Mobile marketing is not only necessary to meet new customer demands, it also provides brands with a variety of additional marketing tools to drive expanding business needs.
1. Mobile: The Service Enhancer
Apps can be a powerful way to enhance your core product or service and help develop closer relationships with your customers.
Apps such Bank of Ireland’s online banking App, or the RTE player App which allows users to view their favourite shows on the go makes the brand’s core service more attractive to customers. As a result, the mobile application is likely to increase the level of brand-customer interaction and boost brand loyalty.
2. Mobile: The Brand Enhancer
If your aim is to create an app for brand building then you must make it an integrated high engagement component of a wider marketing strategy. Coca-Cola developed a highly integrated brand experiences that encouraged customers to embrace mobile engagement in coordination with offline marketing activities in Hong Kong called ‘Coca-Cola Chok! Chok! Chok!’.
3. Mobile: The Business
Retails brands, particularly those who engage in online selling should explore developing a fully integrated mCommerce strategy and optimize the experience across multiple platforms, for both mobile websites and apps.
Amazon encourages customer interaction via laptops access as well as through apps on multiple mobile devices. Each touch point allows customers to browse, shop, compare prices, read reviews and share products with friends. Amazon adds value to the customer experience by giving them full access to their existing shopping basket, wish lists, payment and order history across every device they use. Shopping on Amazon has never been easier for the customer and the retailer has the profits to prove it.
The Starbucks app uses the smart phone as a loyalty card, making it easier to manage balances and reload money. In some stores, the mobile device can actually be used to pay for purchases. One of the highlights of this app is the ability to create personalized drinks.
Going Mobile? What you need to know
26,000 Apps were submitted to iTunes App store in the first seven months of 2012. With the explosion of Apps in the market place many brands waste huge sums of money investing in an over crowded marketplace. Apps like any digital initiative must be ground in clear strategies that harness specific business needs and user interests.
Whether creating a brand App, developing a mCommerce strategy or fully utilizing a mobile-enabled website, brands must begin by analyzing customer behavior and establishing goals for their mobile strategy. Understanding how to leverage data analysis and reporting to help build a great customer experience is key to becoming successful as a ‘mobile’ brand.
If we have learned anything from Social Media marketing in the last number of years it is that understanding the analytics is key to maximizing ROI. The number of fans, comments and click-throughs do not necessarily translate to bottom line results. Geo location data and advanced analytics need to be incorporated into mobile strategies to understand segments, influencers and customer behaviours.
What is the value of mobile marketing to your brand?
Brands need to develop a clear understanding of the mobile experiences’ value proposition to customers and the potential impact on the core business. Is the mobile experience going to be an additional sales channel? Is it going to enhance the in-store experience? Is it going to increase customer engagement with the brand and build loyalty?
The most important word to consider when adapting to mobile marketing is integration. Mobile marketing and mobile advertising for brands can only be truly successful when it becomes fully integrated into your overall brand strategy. It can be an incredibly powerful tool when it harnesses the synergy offered by linking with the other marketing touch-points. The mobile landscape is changing rapidly. Do not be the brand that gets left behind.
• Have you strategically integrated mobile marketing into your brand strategy?
• Could an ecommerce strategy help grow your bottom line and extend your brand reach?
• How are you going to leverage mCommerce in the coming year to grow your business?