For many brands, mobile marketing offers the potential to explore new heights in record time, creating positive customer experiences and building customer loyalty. 

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Like a rocket launching to the moon, a mobile marketing program needs the proper engineering and fuel: the key to liftoff is the mobile database.

With a mobile database you can accurately identify your customers’ communications preferences, monitor purchasing habits and capture preference shifts to ensure a positive customer experience. Without it, a mobile marketing strategy will be grounded. 

Tips for Takeoff

Follow these tips to launch your mobile marketing plan into orbit:

Get the Opt-In 

To build your mobile database you must first gain your consumer’s express consent to communicate with them. With the right plans and partner, this isn’t a hard thing to do -- it just takes a bit of time, creativity and consistent effort. Consumers aren’t quick to volunteer personal information unless they perceive value in doing so.

You know your customer base, so be creative. Consider loyalty programs, contests, coupons and campaigns that capture their attention. Simply asking for information with nothing in return won’t likely elicit trust to build your database.

Collect the Right Information 

Contact information like phone numbers, addresses and emails is helpful, but you can gain a strong advantage with customers by gathering their communications preferences. How do your customers wish to be contacted? How often? Which products or services are they interested in? Knowledge of communications preferences allows you to generate targeted and personalized marketing campaigns while increasing your chances of getting through.

Manage Customer Preferences 

Once consumers have supplied their communications preferences, honor them with vigor across the organization. Knowing how someone prefers to be contacted is paramount to turning a one-time shopper into a loyal customer.

Communicating information they’re not interested in or using unpreferred channels can create negative customer experiences and can lead to program opt-outs. Once a customer opts-out, the chances of him opting back in are slim.

Pay Close Attention and Stay Updated

The mobile database is a living entity. Identifying your customers’ preferences and channel response shifts will put you in a unique position to offer only what interests them while increasing response rates and your ROI.

But be careful. As mentioned, honoring customer preferences is critical, but noticing shifts in channel preference is equally important. For example, the number of people who prefer to be contacted via text in 2013 will be higher than it was in 2012. You must continually monitor the pulse of your customers and their changing purchasing dynamics.

Methods to Capture Preferences

Numerous ways exist to capture and record your customers’ communications preferences:

Company controlled

Your team accesses an internal Web-based portal to enter and modify preferences. Practical implementations of this enable agents to log-in and review and/or edit consumer preferences.

Self-service

Consumers update their communications preferences, including their preferred means of contact, optimal frequency, specific products of services of interest, and account servicing preferences, as well as any other attribute or contact data.

A self-service model enables customers the flexibility to manage their own preferences -- including their preferred means of contact, optimal frequency, specific products or services of interest, and account servicing preferences, as well as any other attribute or contact data. Similarly, it serves as a useful repository of communications preferences for all customers enterprise-wide.

Observed behavior

An unobtrusive way to deliver messages to consumers when and how they want. For example, technology can learn that a consumer responds to text over voice by a three-to-one margin, and text becomes the primary platform to communicate with that consumer. As a result, organizations gain a better understanding of both stated and implied preferences to deliver more targeted messages and eliminate wasted communications.

While all offer distinct choices and advantages, the key is to have a system that works for your business and your consumers. To fully leverage the mobile channel in their marketing efforts, brands need to find a partner who can share best practices, lessons learned, technology acumen and industry insights. Selecting the right mobile partner is a decision that will impact any company’s ability to achieve lift-off for a mobile marketing campaign.

A mobile database requires a strategic blueprint, creativity and attention. It is an investment that can create optimal customer experiences and make your mobile marketing results soar. The countdown is over; are you ready to launch the mobile rocket?

Image courtesy of Volodymyr Krasyuk (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: For a different perspective on mobile marketing, read Scott K. Wilder's Why You Need a Mobile e-Commerce Strategy Now