by Matt Cockett, vp for sales with Velti UK
As smartphone penetration continues to climb, the use of mobile devices of all kinds is creating an enormous opportunity for brands and marketers to reach directly into the pocket of consumers. This trend means that the mobile channel is increasingly central to any branded communications strategy – given its real-time results and relevance across multiple delivery formats. It offers the full breadth of options open to marketers within a single handset spanning messaging, email, social networking and in-app notifications – all accessible on the go. Crucially, mobile is also measurable, making it the perfect technology platform from which to manage a customer relationship.Brands looking at news ways of engaging customers should think about embracing the mobile channel as an integral element of a multi-channel marketing (MCM) strategy, taking full advantage of all the capabilities of the mobile device and tying them to the wider marketing objective.
Velti defines this ‘Total Mobile’ approach by end-to-end mobile activation and efficient integration with other marketing channels.
It matches the brand’s mobile strategy to changing customer behaviour – mobilising consumer data to deliver transactional value from innovative campaigns that span end user touch points including loyalty programmes, gamification, apps and payment systems.
The current appetite for multi-channel marketing provides a healthy basis for brands to develop a one-to-one relationship with consumers on mobile in future.
Velti’s own research 1 shows that over 50 per cent of UK consumers would opt-in to receive direct smart mobile communication with their favoured brands, with participants citing mobile network operators (MNO’s), retailers, financial services and travel as the most trusted sectors.
The same research projects that by the end of 2016, the number of opt-ins in the UK will be 31.14 million.
The mobile journey
Ultimately however, the success of a brand’s mobile presence will be defined by the way it engages with its target audience.
This means that mobile marketing and advertising decisions need to be taken in the context of the four stages of the consumer journey on mobile – activation, acquisition, optimisation and retention.
The key driving factors for success in Total Mobile MCM therefore hinge on some important considerations, namely: – the need to build trusted relationships between brand and consumer; giving consumers choice; adopting a conversational tone to drive response; making communications timely and relevant, and building a mobile strategy that’s device agnostic.
This journey starts with initial awareness from targeted advertising, leading to the decision to interact, mobile engagement through innovative apps or opt-ins and finally to the all-important point of purchase.
Data analysis is an integral part of this process, and provides end-to-end visibility across mobile marketing and advertising initiatives.
Customer behaviour can be captured and tracked along the conversion path of a mobile journey, then re-invested into the brand engagement strategy as a way to improve the mobile experience.
Ultimately one-time conversions can be nurtured to become long term customers and even brand advocates.
While the mobile landscape offers huge potential to grow new revenue streams, it is a complicated one to understand.
Many companies today are either put off by the maze of technology choices available or have not yet understood how to extend their business to mobile.
In short, they are currently missing the business opportunity that mobile presents.
In the knowledge that the mobile is a multi-application device which will only feature more heavily in future marketing and advertising plans, many brands are aware that they are not doing enough.
There is also a growing awareness that device-led advertising and marketing should be viewed as inseparable, where one ties directly to the other.
‘Total Mobile’ MCM necessitates a step-change in thinking and brands need to recognise that the mobile brand experience must be tailored to the individual customer’s preferences, to the extent that he or she will choose to opt-in to mobile marketing.
This means communicating with consumers on a one-to-one basis rather than simply marketing to them and becoming part of the fabric of their life on mobile.
While this may sound like a monumental struggle, Velti’s research demonstrates there is a strong existing opt-in audience and indicates a growing appetite for MCM.
With market conditions now ripe for brands to place a greater emphasis on mobile within their marketing mix, the Total Mobile approach offers the best route for brands to truly understand mobile, learn how to exploit the channel, build stronger relationships with their audiences and grow revenues.
Matt Cockett, a vp for sales with Velti UK, is speaking at Mobile Marketing Live, 1st-2nd October 2012 in London on Day 2 about ‘linking brands to their consumers’. At Velti, Matt works with brands to make the most of mobile through Total Mobile MCM. The company walks its clients through our four stage approach – from activation, acquisition, optimisation and retention, to help them understand where they are in the mobile cycle and where best to invest to link their brand to consumers.
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 Velti whitepaper: The UK opportunity for Total Mobile Multi-channel marketing, June 2012