By Dan Brooks, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile, Oracle
There is no corner of commerce that mobile marketing and messaging has not touched. Responsive web designs, location-based search results, multi-environment platforms, click-to-order/call/schedule/SMS chat/map/pay functionality—all of these have found a welcome response from consumers and businesspeople alike.
The upside of mobile marketing is the opportunity for small and middle market players to compete with enterprise-size businesses for customers.
Mobile moments are real-time, relevant interactions that—with only a glance—make a lasting impression, suggest a resolution to a challenge, or promote an action that generates extended brand interest and engagement.
Because mobile has been the primary environment in which people look for information—according to measurement company comScore, mobile reached this peak in 2015—SMBs must be there.
Here are three keys to capitalize on mobile moments.
Statista reports that four in seven people worldwide prefer using messaging apps such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and WeChat to email. This indicates a demand for immediate response.
If you can’t communicate with your customers how, when, and where they want, your competitors will.
SMBs may stumble upon the obstacles: IT owns the messaging channels when they should be managed by marketing or customer service; leaders insist on approving responses to disgruntled customers; there isn’t enough money to staff a call center or outsource it to a third party.
Yet none of these needs to be an issue. Chatbots have developed into reputable virtual assistants, highly intelligent and efficient in meeting customer needs, and in some cases, even helping define them. Chatbots on popular messaging platforms help both sides of a customer transaction achieve their aims without extensive exchanges.
SMB mobile moments on messaging channels can help capture sales at the exact moment a customer has a need or question. It’s a testimony to your SMB’s relevancy, and sets you apart from web sites and email policies that promise a response within 24 hours.
Because consumers are looking at screens hardly bigger than their hands, the most effective messages will be those that don’t require much swiping or tapping. You don’t want to lose a mobile generation of customers accustomed to funny gifs and 140-character commentary.
Think about your information assets like nutrition for marathon runners. A chunk of an energy bar or a squeeze of protein gel extends a runner’s momentum and helps him or her complete the immediate activity, typically something that also represents a higher-order goal. Snapchat based its business model on succinct photo and video communications that last 10 seconds or less and disappear completely after broadcast. The company, which markets itself as a tool to help people live in the moment, was valued at $29 billion with its March 2017 initial public offering.
In addition to being brief, Snapchat communications are personalized—broadcast to audiences selected by the user. SMBs can achieve similar personalization with sophisticated mobile analytics tools that segment and target users based on their behaviors and characteristics.
Once SMBs understand their various customer groups, they can create relevant, timely, and tailored communications to increase engagement and ultimately generate new revenue. In addition, the learning capacity of chatbots enables automated, personalized recommendations to customers in real-time.
Facebook “likes” and Twitter “follows” still don’t have a rate for exchange into hard currency or even Bitcoin. No company should set social media trending nor any other non-monetary measure as a primary goal, least of all SMBs that struggle to shed the “underdog” nickname. To grow and truly compete with larger players, SMBs must monetize current customer relationships.
Tools that measure digital traction (active usage x engagement x personalization at scale) provide visibility into performance, proving ROI through user and session reports, funnel analysis, user path and flow analysis, and more. These insights can help optimize campaigns, predicting future interactions and possibly churn. In the case of the latter, companies will gain the opportunity to target at-risk customers with personalized offers to prevent attrition.
If SMBs get their messaging priorities right, they may benefit from incremental sales.
Oracle Mobile Cloud makes mobile app delivery easy because it manages the complex server-side programming and provides ready-to-integrate features. Adopters can segment mobile customers by geography or other target characteristics, and engage them with relevant content in real time. The platform enables the development and deployment of chatbots for contextual conversations with customers.