How many companies do you know that have implemented a mobile marketing strategy?
We are not talking about individual activities on social Medias or sporadic online campaigns, but about a complete and integrated plan of activities, programmed for medium to long term. You probably know only a few.
According to a Smartinsight study, in 2015 50% of companies declared that they engage themselves in digital marketing activities but they do not have a clear strategy, while 16% consider mobile marketing as a separate activity from other marketing strategies
Yet mobile devices are increasingly becoming part of consumers’ everyday life: between 2013 and 2019, it is estimated that data traffic will increase by 45% and by 2020, 70% of the world population will have a smartphone as per Ericsson Mobility Report.
No mobile, no future
Web marketers can no longer ignore these figures while making their strategies for at least three reasons: firstly, as they linger and continue to view mobile as an area of marginal investment, the most advanced companies from this standpoint can subtract them a significant market share. Secondly, people expect brands’ presence on mobile, from websites to apps: an important channel of communication will be missed if you’re not there and if you’re not active. Thirdly, little attention is paid to digital marketing because it is still considered as a secondary area that is to be tested only on certain occasions and on which marginal budget is allocated. What is often not taken into account is the fact that engaging in many individual and unconnected activities without a strategy is more time-consuming and takes a lot of resources than what is needed if you adopt a proper strategy. It would be even better if it were integrated with the company's overall marketing goals.
So here are some basic reasons why it is important to think of mobile and especially have a strategy to use it well.
1 To be there at the right time
Mobile allows you to reach out to people at the same time they are making a purchase or when they are going through a particular experience. For example, one potential is that of creating a seasonal plan, which includes a series of themed activities during particular times of the year such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day and so on. People are more likely to be involved thanks to the holiday atmosphere. The seasonal plan on mobile should include not only promotional activities but also those aimed to engage people: for example, Starbucks has created a calendar of events for customers who use its app that includes weekly offers, the opportunity to taste seasonal specialties, and to receive themed greeting cards.
2 To reach people with relevant messages
Compared to traditional media, mobile can reach consumers at any time because smartphones are always at everyone’s fingertips: messages and push notifications are immediate means of contact, which easily attract the user’s attention. In fact, it is estimated that 99% of messages are opened within 90 seconds of receiving them. It is great opportunity to be included in your own mobile strategies but it should not be overdone: too much communication, even in the form of a simple notification, bothers users as demonstrated by a study of the University of Florida. That’s why it is better to send few but targeted and relevant messages to the person who receives them. To achieve this, you need to segment the target, identify the most attractive niches you would want to reach and then create campaigns for them.
3 To enhance localization
Through Foursquare, Facebook or Google+, people can let you know where they are via their smartphones. Many brands have started to take advantage of this opportunity as a marketing tool. The campaign developed by Nokia in Austria invited people to register at their local retailer, via Foursquare, offering in exchange a pair of glasses. People who shared a photo of them wearing these glasses on their social profiles could take part in a prize draw. This operation resulted in an increase in sales of 71%, while 21% of online discussions about Nokia in Austria during the reporting period was generated by this campaign.
4 To offer something more
More and more people access apps directly on mobile without going through the browser. In 2015, 179,628 billion apps were downloaded worldwide and it is estimated that in 2016 they will be 224,801 billion as per: Statista.com. In order to be successful, you don’t simply create an app: you must offer an added value to people so that they are enticed to download and use it. By inserting the creation of an app in the mobile marketing strategy, you can carefully plan your budget, the target and the specific goals you want to achieve.
Moreover, you should study and prepare the right keywords to associate with the app, so that it is easy to find, even for those who are not your customers yet and might be interested in your services. You should also make a name that is easy to remember and finally create a good icon coordinated with the brand. Once you’ve launched your app, it has to be kept constantly updated, promotions and exclusive contents must be offered to those who use it so that users are encouraged to access it continuously.
5 To be (well) seen
Having a website optimized for every device is a key point in mobile marketing strategy. 47% of users expect a site to load on their smartphone within 2 seconds and 40% tend to leave within 3 seconds if it does not load properly. Furthermore, since last April Google has started to penalize non-mobile-friendly sites in ranking results, that’s why investing in an optimized, fast, up to date web page has become a matter of necessity rather than of choice. Investment costs can also be reduced if you choose an online platform to create mobile sites. These systems allow you to create a website in a couple of minutes and they are designed especially for those who have no graphics or programming skills.
6 To attract customers and satisfy their needs
When people are in the store, traditional marketing communication remains a static tool, like totems and posters. However, new horizons will open once mobile becomes part of your strategy: then it will be possible to communicate in real time with people who are interested in a particular item, or are seeking a promotion. This can be done by sending them a push notification, or inviting them to interact via the QR code inserted next to the products, in-app messaging or beacon technologies. The customers scan the code with their smartphones and immediately enter the web page of the brand or a landing page with a special promotion.
7 Why it doesn’t end here
What we have described above are just some of the reasons why it’s convenient and useful to give more value to mobile marketing in the company and above all inserting it within a strategy. If it is true that mobile offers many more possibilities, then for the same reason choices must be weighed, coordinated amongst them and placed in a context of dialogue and constant comparison with other activities.
But beware: incorporating doesn’t mean replicating the same methods of traditional marketing on mobile. You must understand that it is a specific medium with its own characteristics, which is much more direct, pervasive and predisposed to multichannel interaction compared to conventional media. Once that fact has been grasped, you can choose and combine all possibilities offered by mobile in the best possible way, with the certainty to compose a winning strategy.
This is just the beginning.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.