Marketers have three precious hours to captivate mobile device users each day. US adults spent 5.9 hours per day on digital media in 2017, and some 3.3 of those hours were spent on mobile, according to Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends report.
What tactics are you deploying in your mobile marketing programs to capture the attention of prospects and customers? It’s can't just be about having a mobile marketing strategy that includes building a mobile app or running a mobile-responsive website, as Brian Solis wrote. “While businesses are making strides in mobilizing websites and developing functional apps, it’s critical that they understand that being mobile is just the beginning,” Solis wrote. “Digital strategists must also understand how preferences, expectations and intent evolve and how their users seek to interact with different platforms.”
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Gartner’s View of the Mobile Marketing Landscape
Before we offer some tips to bolster your mobile marketing efforts, we wanted to share Gartner’s view on the landscape. Gartner researchers Mike McGuire, Charles Golvin and Bryan Yeager authored in July the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Marketing Platforms (fee required).
In their report, the Gartner researchers reported mature multichannel marketers apply 22 percent of their channel marketing budget toward mobile marketing. “Less mature” marketers, they found, apply just 12 percent, according to Gartner’s "Survey Analysis: Mature Multichannel Marketers Prioritize Mobile Investment, Activation and Data" (fee required).
Where Do You Begin With Mobile Marketing?
According to Gartner, mobile marketing strategies fall within one of two types:
- "Mobile-centric" marketing organizations: These companies leverage mobile devices and networks, such as cameras, GPS radios and microphones.
- “Mobile-extender" marketing organizations: They extend and adapt existing prospect and customer connections from the desktop to a mobile device, according to Gartner.
We recognize it’s probably not an option to label yourself a “mobile-centric” or “mobile-extender” type of mobile marketer and simply get cracking. So how can you get started with the resources you have? Sastry Penumarthy, co-founder and VP of marketing and partnerships at Punchh, a marketing cloud technology platform, said the first step is to look at what consumers do on mobile. Second, determine what consumers do on mobile to engage with their brand. "If you’re Pizza Hut, your goal is to have your own branded app that can scale," he added.
You want to market to mobile consumers, Penumarthy said, when they’re searching for something related to your brand using their web browser or even a different app altogether. “As a brand/marketer,” Penumarthy said, “you first want to understand where to put most of your efforts.”
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Connect to the Top 20 Percent
Mobile users tend to be the most valuable customers in his experience, Penumarthy said, adding that he sees the top 20 percent of customers tend to be tied to at least 50 percent of your revenue. “If that’s the case, you want to find a way to use your mobile marketing to connect with those customers first,” he added. “Focus on increasing their frequency and spend with your brand over time, which is the KPI we refer to as customer lifetime value. If you don’t have a strategy for your most loyal customers who are already raising their hand to say they love your brand, then your chances of getting in front of and engaging with your non-loyal customers is much lower.”
Capture Relevant Data
Almitra Karnik, head of marketing at CleverTap, a mobile marketing platform, said marketers who want to be successful at mobile marketing must ensure they are capturing data from all relevant sources, processing it at scale and providing real-time actionable insights that can be leveraged to increase ROI. Build a martech stack, she said, that is not just a consolidation of point solutions but creates an ecosystem of tools that not only solves your current needs but can manage your future needs.
Ask the Who, Why, What and When of Mobile Marketing
Recognize how you plan on engaging your customers in a mobile environment, Penumarthy said. Why would they use your mobile app? How are you communicating your value proposition? Are you making it easy/convenient for them to use? Is there perceived value and is it a personalized experience? “Engagement involves providing consumers value, convenience, personalization and/or relevance, and is vitally important as engagement ultimately leads to adoption,” Penumarthy said. “Convenience is an important part of this equation as it includes things such as the management of a loyalty program, placing orders and many other things all within one centralized mobile app.”
Understand where people are coming from, what is bringing people into your store, to your website, or driving them to download your mobile app. “These insights,” Penumarthy said, “should help a marketer gather an understanding of consumer behavior as well as demographics, frequency of visits and spend, items they purchase and devices they use. If you can gather these insights in real-time and in the right context, they can be used to inform your future marketing campaigns.
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Make Your Website Mobile
Peter Gillett, CEO of mobile data platform Zuant, said marketers should make sure their website is mobile friendly, naturally. “Your clients want mobile sites that load fast and are optimized for mobile viewing,” he said. “Ensure the critical information on your website is easily accessible and navigable with clear links and user-friendly icons.”
Leverage AI and Machine Learning
Predictive and prescriptive modelling are a marketers best friends, Karnik said. Starbucks was looking to improve their customer experiences and thereby repeat purchases. In June last year, they moved to a to a real-time personalization engine capable of producing hyper-personalized emails each week. Its AI engine was able to launch real-time one-to-one personalized offers that are uniquely generated based on each individual customer's behaviors and marked preferences. “As a result, in the middle of 2016, they have seen significant results like a doubling of the email redemptions and a tripling of the revenue from individuals who redeem offers,” Karnik said.
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Stay Focused on Desktop Visitors
Mobile marketing is of course really important these days. But shouldn’t take preference over desktop just because it’s hot. “It is very much a mistake to allow mobile marketing to take anything away from an equally focused approach to ensure one’s web presence is continually refined and relevant,” said Gillett. “Even for the marketing of our own App, Zuant, we find that on average each week, 85 to 95 percent of our serious visitors and inquiries are via a desktop device.”
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Make Relevant Articles and Content That is Easily Shared
Your prospects search for more than just what your company does. They want and appreciate valuable and relevant content, Gillett said. “If you can connect with potential clients and provide the industry information they want, you build brand credibility which could help future sales,” he said.
Making content is great but if no one is reading it, it's not doing you any good. To help facilitate audience engagement your content needs to be easily shareable. “When current or potential clients find great content on their mobile devices they want to share that information immediately with others,” Gillett said. “This happens millions of times each day on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Ensure users can easily share your content on top social sites by placing social media icons on all of your web-based marketing.”