The Mobile Knowledge
“Put your best people on mobile. It’s where the puck is headed.” This call to action from Google’s Eric Schmidt poses a critical challenge for clients and agencies engaged across the whole spectrum of marketing communications.
Regular readers of Mobile Marketing will be in no doubt about the impact mobile is having as a true game-changer for today’s global brands. The time has come for all business executives to grasp the changing habits of consumers and the central importance of mobile to delivering a seamless customer experience.
At each stage of the customer lifecycle – acquisition, transaction and retention – mobile provides a unique level of personalised, targeted, time- and location-sensitive rich brand engagement and interaction. Mobile also provides real time measurement of response for precise ROI analysis. So why does mobile command a mere 2 per cent or 3 per cent of today’s marketing budgets, and precious little attention to boot?
Many brands choose to brush the mobile question under the carpet, or pay lip service to embracing mobile – due, in part, to a lack of awareness of mobile and the benefits it can deliver for an organisation. For many, a mobile strategy comprises a branded app, often developed at considerable cost, attracting a modest number of downloads and providing a worrying lack of engaging content, or a decent user experience. More often than not, the app is an afterthought, shares little in common with valuable consumer insight or the brand’s marketing strategy, and does not fit the data strategy. This response misses the opportunity. Unfortunately, it is all too common. So what’s the answer?
Core communications channel
The good news is that mobile has now moved from a “bolt on task”, delegated to a junior marketing executive, to a core communications channel, with its own budget line and agenda point at the Board meeting. We have data from comScore and the GSM Association (GSMA) to prove growing mobile penetration and usage for a growing number of actions, as well as case studies demonstrating seismic shifts in brand awareness, interactions and transactions via mobile. And, of course, a relentless wave of new smartphones and tablets which redefine where, when and how we use our mobiles to engage with our preferred brands.
Following many false dawns, the “year of the mobile” has already arrived, and mobile will feature prominently for years to come. The genie is out the bottle. Consumers get it. Brands must catch up and put mobile at the heart of their marketing and service strategies.
Mobile training is a key priority for brands, their agencies and the smartest graduates seeking dynamic, fast-moving and rewarding careers in business and commerce. The Mobile Training Academy (MTA), a Mobile Marketing initiative, will provide marketers with well-informed, inspiring and impartial training to share knowledge and help brands develop and improve their mobile capabilities. MTA will deliver training and development services in three areas (see panel).
One size does not fit all. Each brand has distinct audience groups, with diverse handset use and mobile behaviours. Each brand, and each brand manager, CRM manager or eCommerce manager within the same company, will have different training needs.
To reflect this diversity, the Mobile Training Academy will offer off-the-shelf and bespoke training programmes to meet their needs, catering for mobile novices, those with a successful, or not-so-successful first experience of mobile, and for the seasoned mobile marketer in fine-tuning mode. MTA training will be run off-site for multiple brands, or at your offices for a more in-depth exploration of your precise needs.
MTA training will be run by a team of our industry’s leading mobile practitioners whose insights are derived from hands-on experience of developing and delivering mobile campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands. Their training programmes will be illustrated with practical examples of the world’s most pioneering mobile work. All training will be highly interactive: you’ll need to come along with an open mind, and a fully charged phone.
Defining the MTA vision
The mobile sector can best be described as collaborative and open. As consumers, we use our mobiles to create, share and comment on mobile content and campaigns. This principle sits at the heart of MTA’s mission. We will develop and deliver the training you want. We will build an academy of members which will meet regularly, face to face and virtually, to keep the training agenda up to date, and to monitor the content and quality of training delivered.
The MTA training offering is divided into three broad streams, as outlined below:
First, the basics. Mobile is a broad topic, which presents brands with a unique set of legal, technical and data-based challenges, and a range of ‘formats’ they may deploy to engage their customers and prospects. These include messaging, mobile internet sites, apps, mobile advertising, location-based services, barcodes, coupons and mobile commerce.
The optimum mobile solution for a retailer may differ significantly from that of an FMCG, financial services, pharmaceutical or media brand, as its ‘product’, its ‘location’, its creative assets and terms and conditions of use will vary. In addition to generic mobile training, therefore, MTA will offer format- and sector-specific programmes, tailored to the specific needs of specific brands and sectors.
Best Practice Implementation
Second, implementation. Once marketers have got to grips with the basics, they need to develop a mobile strategy which serves their unique needs, target audience profiles, and their mobile usage patterns, brand strategy, data infrastructure and business processes. This stage requires the definition and refining of mobile requirements; the production of a mobile brief; the allocation of a mobile budget; and the selection of the most appropriate and best value mobile specialist(s) to execute mobile campaigns. In addition, marketers need to know how to evaluate mobile performance, by measuring the mobile campaign and constantly fine-tuning to optimise mobile budgets. The MTA has pulled together a team of industry experts who have real world expertise in designing, planning and implementing major mobile marketing programmes in the UK and globally.
Mobile is a trigger for disruptive change for most organisations, and brings far-reaching challenges to the person or team tasked with integrating mobile into the business. Experience shows that inertia comes from many quarters, often from those whose support for an innovative, progressive new platform may appear to be taken for granted. The stakeholders, whose support is vital, and whose obstruction may derail even the most watertight mobile proposition, are numerous. Consider the conflicting agendas at play between the marketing, sales, legal, financial, IT, data and operations departments. Successful mobile companies pull it off by empowering mobile champions to wave the mobile flag, and secure Board level support to overcome those resisting mobile adoption.
At MTA, we have partnered with development experts in the fields of leadership and organisational change to design a curriculum to support the mobile champion to effectively influence their stakeholders, and lead a programme of change across their organisation.
To find out more about what MTA can do for your business, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or text KNOWLEDGE to 88600