They've fundamentally changed the way people do everything from communicate to read the news. Now mobile devices are reshaping the way consumers buy products and services - and it's happening at breakneck speed.
The numbers involved are staggering. Research shows that, in Australia, 55% of people aged between 25 and 34 years regularly shop using a mobile phone or tablet. Of all device users, 79% have used them to shop at least once.
In developing countries such as India, the rate of growth is even more pronounced. For many people their first experience of the internet is through a mobile device. Using them for purchases seems very natural and growth rates are going through the roof. Indeed, by 2018, it's estimated that the Asia-Pacific region will account for almost 50% of the more than $600 billion spent globally on goods and services purchased using mobile devices.
For marketers, these trends represent a huge opportunity. Mobile devices offer new ways to connect with customers and learn more about their desires, tastes and spending patterns. A properly planned and implemented mobile marketing campaign can make a big difference to a business's bottom line.
But where do you start? There are five key areas you need to consider when creating an effective mobile marketing campaign:
1. Market with cross-channel orchestration
Within the mobile marketing space there are a range of communication options. While mobile apps account for 80% of the time people spend on their devices, they also make use of email and SMS. Rather than just focusing on one channel, effective campaigns combine them all. You might start by encouraging a customer to download an app to their device, but also use push channels such as SMS and email to deliver targeted follow-up messaging.
2. Use data and signals to improve your mobile strategy
When a customer downloads an app, as a marketer you're given a great opportunity to capture valuable information. This can include anything from the device type and operating system they are using to when, how and where the app is used. Much of the information is collected automatically and can be used to tailor future communications. Personalised offers can be made which greatly increase the likelihood of future purchases. It's important, though, to be restrained with the volume of communication so as not to annoy prospective customers.
3. Create a holistic view of customer interactions
By gathering information from all touch points (Email, SMS, apps and web) an even clearer picture of the customer can be obtained. For example, web browsing and purchase history can be used to personalise messaging and provide the opportunity to create unique offers. Rather than marketing to large groups, segmentation can be brought right down to the individual. Here a Data Management Platform (DMP) can help. This software manages marketing spend across a range of channels and tracks campaign success. Using the insights gleaned, marketers can be sure their campaign is being as effective and efficient as possible.
4. Don't forget SMS
While attention tends to focus on the development of apps, it's important not to forget a much older technology: SMS. Even people without smart phones can receive and respond to SMS messages, making it a very effective communication choice. Interestingly, research has found that 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of their receipt. This makes them far more effective than email and their reach can be further improved when combined with other marketing channels.
5. Prove the value of your mobile marketing strategy
At the end of the day, every marketing team will have to prove the return on investment for their mobile marketing campaign. For this reason, it's important to set clear goals from the outset. This could be the number of apps installed, the number of SMS responses or website visits achieved, or the volume of mobile purchases generated. Having specific goals allows you to track the success of a campaign and quickly make any required changes.
Mobile marketing is a very powerful method of connecting with customers. The ability to personalise messages based on collected data means campaigns can be targeted in ways not previously possible. Interactions can be monitored to determine success and future campaigns built on a sound market understanding.
The future of mobile device marketing is now. Are you ready for it?
To help you get ready, you will want to download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Mobile Marketing.
Author Bio: Scott Mirabello is the Principal Mobile Consultant for Oracle Marketing Cloud in APAC. Scott has been consulting in technology and marketing for 16 years and comes to Oracle via Responsys. He is responsible for the education and adoption of mobile marketing. When he is not talking to customers, he can be found out of a trail somewhere running and working with charity: water to help provide clean drinking water through one of his crazy adventures. You can follow Scott on Twitter @scottmirabello.