Have you ever wondered how some corporate Twitter accounts make customer engagement look so effortless? Or how a marketer seems to be posting meaningful updates on Facebook while speaking at a user conference at the same time?
The best marketers are the ones who never appear to be on their mobile devices, but trust me, they’re constantly engaging with their customers online. They’re using powerful mobile apps that collect and analyze data, inform, automate and ultimately, help them spend more time away from glowing screens and more time engaging with customers in real-life.
“But I tweet all the time!” you might be thinking. “I use this app that lets me post across multiple channels!”
Well so does everyone else. Ninety two percent of brands tweet an average of 12 times a day. More and more brands are mobilizing social media “war rooms” during major events to try to repeat the success of Oreo’s epic Superbowl tweet. Inundated with carefully crafted, targeted tweets and updates, potential customers may miss out on what you’re trying to say unless it’s relevant and immediate.
But if you’re like many enterprise marketers I’ve talked to, digital replies are generic and irrelevant to your target audience, or you’re tweeting long after an individual has stopped engaging with your brand. Say you’re at an event taking pictures with a blog post in mind. You’re probably either snapping photos and tweeting them immediately, or snapping photos and planning to touch them up and post them later. Managing these digital assets is a full-time job in itself, so you certainly don’t bother cataloguing everything (trust me I know, I’ve spent enough time doing this as well).
This isn't an effective way to use social media at all. If the goal is to have an authentic, immediate dialogue with your customer, you need the right mobile tools that allow you to gather vast amounts of contextual customer information so you can respond strategically and immediately — just like in a real-life dialogue.
Having interviewed hundreds of marketers, here’s what the most high-performing mobile marketers look for in their apps:
1. They’re Invisible
A real mobile marketer uses “invisible” mobile tools that enables him or her to engage strategically with customers from virtually anywhere. The best apps don’t take much effort — a couple taps — to perform powerful functions. This lets you juggle real life and online interactions like a pro.
2. They Think Integrated
Whether you’re on a mobile device or a computer, your databases should be integrated in order to give you a holistic view of customer interactions from your mobile device. Only then can you orchestrate customer conversations across channels in a single flow. Keeping your finger on the pulse by relying on reports from siloed channels is ineffective.
By integrating all of your databases, you’ll be able to make attributions with every customer interaction, quickly form correlations and use these insights to improve your messaging, targeting and optimization. Why bother to optimize your tweet? Because every time you personalize your message, you’re increasing the chances of turning that person into a customer. Or converting a first-time customer into a customer for life.
3. They Go for BYO-Automation
As you grow and scale, automation becomes an inevitable part of the conversation. But this certainly isn’t limited to email or canned messages. When you have a single view of the customer at your fingertips, you can begin to automate responses or actions with if/then statements. Naturally you don’t want your customer to think he’s talking to a machine, but the right business intelligence apps can identify who’s interacting with you (e.g., Is this an existing customer? Is she based in the US?) and help you prevent re-targeting or impersonal replies. Also: see number one.
4. They Play the Long Game
The best mobile marketing tools enable marketers to be more proactive, rather than reactive. Like any good CRM, they collect vast amounts of data and make attributions, going insofar as calculating a value or analyzing datasets to create simplified actions. If you’re able to glance at your device and see a graph that helps you predict responses based on past behaviors, then you’re already ahead of the person next to you who’s fumbling on their phone. Don’t forget that even when you’re working from a smartphone, these interactions should add to your growing “single customer view.” The best apps collect, catalogue and analyze mobile-derived data so we can continue to optimize our digital experiences and even predict future outcomes.
The best marketers know that technology should be a proxy, not a barrier, for personalized communications. With so many marketing apps on the market, keep these tips in mind as you’re looking to turn your smartphone into a digital marketing machine.
About the Author
Nate Barad is director of product strategy at Sitecore. He has 14 years of experience in managing and marketing software products, throughout the complete development lifecycle. He is passionate about addressing the needs of digital marketers with web content management, online commerce, behavioral marketing and analytic intelligence solutions.
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