Guest Post: The art of being mobile – engaging customers on the go

by Anthony Wilkey, strategic client director, with SmartFocus

Anthony WilkeyThe way consumers access and interact with content on mobile devices has evolved considerably over the last five years. With the advent of smartphones, browsing, purchasing, staying on top of email – be it personal or for work – and keeping up to date with social media and the latest news ‘on the go’ has never been easier. Indeed, recent figures suggest that by 2019, global smartphone penetration will have exploded to 60 per cent, from the 25 to the 30 per cent it is currently 1.The prevalence of smartphone and tablet use by today’s consumer makes mobile a key channel for marketers to employ, engage and interact with their audience.

Being in a mobile state of mind

Just as data is critical for fuelling relevant and engaging campaigns, it is equally critical for you to understand the driving factors behind your customers’ mobile mind-set when developing your mobile marketing strategy.

Knowing how subscribers engage with their devices will help ensure you are creating a positive user experience for those on the go, on their couch, or at their desk.

78 per cent of business people use their mobile device to check email 2 and the way people check their inbox on their smartphone differs from how they check them on other devices, like a tablet or desktop.

Time is often at a premium and smartphone owners are likely to review their inbox during their commute 3 or on a break between meetings.

Bringing the mobile experience to life

As strategies are established, it is important to make sure actual campaigns are optimised for viewing on a mobile phone or tablet.

If email, web pages or forms are hard to view or slow to load, it will be difficult and often impossible to keep visitors engaged – especially if the information isn’t relevant or of value to them.

When promoting a purchase or sharing information by email, it is important to consider the experience that is being provided.

Unlocking this behaviour can be achieved by testing campaigns in their mobile state.

Findings can identify how many subscribers are opening the email campaign, what device they are using, how long they are viewing the email for and whether or not they are clicking through to links.

For example, if it is found that most mobile users will access their device during their commute at 8am – why not use this information and inject it into future campaigns and make sure to send a compelling and relevant email when they are most likely to see it, read it and respond to it?

Using mobile to build on a traditional marketing approach

Rather than replace traditional strategies entirely with new online and mobile channels, consider building on your marketing foundations and extending these offers across the channels with which you engage.

It is important to recognise that mobile experiences are just one part of a multi-channel marketing approach that is constantly evolving.

As part of an integrated strategy, it has the ability to complement a brand and become a cornerstone of marketing efforts.


1. Ericson Global, Smartphone Penetration, 2013 see here

2. Our Mobile Planet, Mobile Behaviour, 2013

3. Smart Insights, 2013

Author biog

Anthony Wilkey is currently strategic client director with  SmartFocus. He has worked in the fields of CRM and marketing intelligence for over 15 years, spending the last four years with SmartFocus – following time with Experian, Sage and Frost & Sullivan.  He has extensive experience of working on collaborative, often multi-national digital ventures and is especially focussed on topics such as multichannel marketing, marketing automation, and data-driven marketing strategies. Anthony is also involved with the DMA [Direct Marketing Association], sitting on the email marketing council and its benchmarking hub, responsible for producing and editing a number of industry reports each year.

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