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The Mobile Marketing Disconnect CMOs Need To Be Aware Of

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

One of the first things I was taught in marketing school was I am not marketing to myself; I am marketing to the target audience. It sounds fairly simple, right? Seems kind of straightforward. The moral is it doesn't necessarily matter what a marketer likes, what matters most is what the customer likes. 

Truth be told, I didn't attend marketing school and was never taught that lesson, at least verbatim. It's more of an inherent mantra that every marketer learns or should learn at some point, preferably early in their career. 

Apparently marketers today still have a problem discerning between what they believe to be true vs. what a consumer believes to be true. 

A History Lesson First

Before I get to the mobile marketing disconnect CMOs need to be aware of, allow me to share something from 2011. Yes, 2011. Seems like an eternity ago in some ways. 

In 2011 I wrote a piece entitled The Major Disconnect Between Brands and Consumers When It Comes to Social Media. As you'll see from the two charts below - which came from a CMO Council Report - way back in 2011, there was a disconnect between what a marketer thought was important to consumers when it came to social media vs. reality. 

The first chart = consumers. The second chart = brands. 

As you can see nearly 60% of CMOs believe people liked their brand or followed them on social media because they like the content they are sharing, while only 33 percent believe their fans were looking for incentives or rewards, and only 27 percent believe customers were seeking special savings or experiences exclusive for followers.

The Mobile Disconnect

This next chart comes courtesy of MarketingCharts.com. See if you can spot the disconnect or in this case the disconnects as in plural.

Have you spotted the disconnects? It's easy. While the main message of the chart is to highlight what consumers want out of a mobile experience, for this context just look at the last two columns which reflect the difference in consumers' needs being met in the eyes of the consumers themselves vs. marketers. 

The disparity is quite alarming. 

And lest we forget the above differences are reflective of percentage points. The actual percentage differences are as follows:

  • Convenience - 51%
  • Speed - 104%
  • Customer Service - 100%
  • Comparison - 63%
  • UX - 54%
  • Continuity - 96%
  • Personalization - 57%
  • Social interaction - 33%

As I said, the disparity is quite alarming. How can there be such a wide gap between consumers and marketers? Could it be — using the same principle of "marketers should not be marketing to themselves" — that a great number of marketers are completely out of touch when it comes to mobile marketing? 

It sure seems that way doesn't it? 

It would be wise for a marketer to pay attention to what their respective customers are saying when it comes to mobile marketing. One way to find out is by asking them. 

Such a novel approach. 

And once you know what your customers want out of a mobile experience, you can deliver it. And to be ready to do that, download The CMO’s Guide to Mobile Marketing.

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