Marketers miss opportunities for mobile marketing

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Earlier this year, two global leaders in digital marketing produced the inaugural Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2012, which included an analysis of mobile use for marketing.

The report revealed that 51 per cent of marketers were not integrating mobile marketing into their marketing mix. With 52 per cent of all Australians now owning a smart phone, and penetration for smart phones up 40 per cent from 2011, many marketers are missing a significant opportunity.

Combine this with recent research into consumer preferences in the United States that revealed the number of consumers researching products for purchase using a mobile device has doubled over the past year, and that consumers are increasingly turning to their phones for coupons, promotions and discounts, it is clear a new trend has emerged that presents a never-before-seen opportunity to transform client interactions into an ongoing conversation.

In Australia, Village Cinemas along with the major airlines have all jumped on the mobile marketing bandwagon, and are now offering consumers a more streamlined experience of their product.

Village has been exploring mobile marketing by utilising mobile QR-Codes (Quick Response Codes) for online ticket purchases, where a consumer can purchase their ticket online and a scanner at the podium reads the unique code. The system gives the consumer more flexibility and in many cases allows them to skip ticket lines. The three major airlines in Australia are using the same technology by offering a mobile check-in option where a QR-Code is supplied as a boarding pass via SMS.

The Cross-Channel Marketing Report offered a four-step mobile best practice guide to educate marketers and help them maximise mobile marketing:

  1. Optimise content for mobile. Marketers need to test content on a variety of platforms and devices to ensure it can be displayed and viewed properly regardless of where it is accessed.
  2. Be device savvy. Consumers now browse the internet and access emails based on the time of day. Smart phones are most used in the morning, desktop computers during business hours and tablets on the weekend. Marketers need to consider the time they are sending out their messages to ensure that they are compatible with the time that the device is most likely to be accessed.
  3. Consider the timescale. Marketers looking to communicate with their customers through mobile channels need to think about lead time. For instance, when developing apps, development time and external approval time need to be considered.
  4. Keep abreast of new developments. Mobile is a constantly evolving platform. Marketers should be constantly experimenting with different channels as they emerge and trying to utilise them for different campaigns. Investing in a variety of tactics will allow consumer engagement to be tweaked for optimum results.

The underlying theme from these studies is the increasing trend surrounding mobile usage. Marketers need to research and understand mobile marketing mediums and integrate relevant aspects into their marketing mix, rather than doing it blindly without purpose or strategy. Lastly, marketers must keep up with new trends in mobile marketing to maximise potential opportunities.

This post is an edited version of an article written by Simon O’Day published on the AMI website. It references the Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2012, available at responsys.com, and consumer preferences research undertaken by global researchers Forrester (forrester.com).

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