Mobile marketing is finally starting to give all other forms a run for its money. So how do you fully exploit it? Emily Buckman, Global Strategic Consultant, Urban Airshipexplains the power of mobile marketing and offers three steps to making it happen in any organisation
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:
- SMS – SMS or text offers are often read instantly if a phone is switched on, giving a brand an opportunity for immediate engagement. However, it can come at a high price given the cost to send SMS messages for both the brand and potentially the consumer as part of their mobile phone bill.
- Push notifications – Mobile messaging tactics such as sending push notifications can be extremely effective, as users often read them instantly. And these messages can be highly targeted and relevant to the user, consuming very little data.
- In-app notifications- These notifications are sent to a user whilst they are browsing inside the app rather than to a lock screen. Since the user is already engaged in-app messages can be highly effective.
- Mobile wallet passes– Mobile wallets are the digital equivalent of all the things typically included in a physical wallet. They can be used in place of physical loyalty cards, vouchers, business cards, tickets, etc.84% of consumers in the UK state mobile wallets are more convenient than cash. This represents a huge channel for marketing, customer retention and loyalty teams. With 85% of 18-34-year-olds globally expecting to use a mobile wallet more over the next two years, it’s a channel worth tapping into.
- Email – This can be a highly personalised channel fuelled by rich data that consumers and brands alike are very familiar with. But, reach can be a slow burner as it depends on when the user checks their emails so take that into account when planning your strategy.
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.