With more Smartphones in use than the U.S. population, and the explosion of tablets and iPads, consumers are almost always connected to the Internet with some sort of mobile device.   When polled, many marketers still think of mobile marketing strictly as Push and SMS.  This is the wrong approach; they need to start thinking of mobile marketing as a means to understand their customers better.

mobile marketing

Subsequently, mobile marketing has grown to a total engagement approach that not only includes push and SMS, but also apps, mobile web, mobile ads, mobile-ready email, and mobile analytics. All of these lead to building a complete individualized customer profile which marketers can use to send out timely, and highly relevant, brand messages.

The Path to Purchase

In order to effectively map a customer’s journey towards use or purchase of your product, it’s essential to pinpoint when they’re most likely to interact with you. More often than not, these interactions surface multiple times through a mobile medium.

Below are some helpful suggestions to incorporate mobile messaging into your integrated marketing plan:

  • Privacy – Mobile marketing is permission-based. Since consumers elect to opt-in by provided personal information, it is the marketer’s duty to provide messages of value in exchange for the data.
  • SMS/MMS – In general, SMS provides a broad reach and is often used early in the customer journey process, especially since it is a great way to promote other marketing channels. It is also a great way to capture demographic information about the consumer with quick answer Profile Grabber texts that asks for name, email address and zip codes.
  • Apps/Push Notifications – Since your customer took the time to download your App, it stands to reason they are your most loyal customers. In order to keep them engaged, utilize advanced behavioral targeting and customized messages to drive quick actions.
  • GeoFencing/Beacons – Utilize the customers exact location to initiate highly targeted marketing messages.
  • Social Media via mobile devices – If your company hasn’t already done so, begin to start incorporating Social Media channels as part of your overall customer service or call center approach. Being seen as a quick responder is a necessity in today’s customer driven business world.  Social media is also transparent – allowing customers to see how you interact with customers and how you present your brand to the public.
  • Set Preference Centers – Giving the customer control on how they want to interact with your brand creates brand loyalty and prevents customer churn.
  • Complete Integrated Marketing – Use your bigger channels like email and Direct Mail to promote your smaller mobile marketing initiatives.

Mobile Marketing Strategies

As technology continues to evolve, the mobile message has gone through three distinct stages; descriptive, predictive, and cognitive.

Below is an example of each type of messaging that a Car Wash company might use for their SMS or Push notification mobile marketing in each stage:

  • Descriptive – Straight forward consumer message such as “Car Wash – 20% off this Monday.”
  • Predictive – Attempting to predict the consumer’s actions like “Car Wash – No rain in the forecast this week – 20% off this Monday.”
  • Cognitive – Utilizing the consumer’s individualized data to craft a meaningful message after collecting Social Media data about their very recent vacation like “Car Wash – Nothing beats an off-road adventure – except maybe a great car wash afterwards – 20% off this Monday only”.

Most marketers are still faced with the challenge of collecting the data in a centralized location that is accessible to the integrated marketing platform.   A lot of savvy companies are leveraging their agency relationships since they have invested in top-of-line marketing platforms such as IBM Marketing Cloud, Marketo, or Eloqua and have the expertise to manage the entire integrated marketing process.

As a proud agency partner for IBM Marketing Cloud, we help many companies navigate the complexity of their integrated marketing programs. Give us a call to see how we may be able to help you.