At a time when consumers can price-check at home, or find information at their fingertips using a smartphone, many brands are still not doing enough to compete in the mobile space. There appears to be a growing gulf between those companies that have ‘cracked’ mobile, and those who feel left behind.
A third of UK adults now own a smartphone, and this is set to grow to 50 per cent by June 2012. As well as an important tool for customer acquisition, the proximity and attachment consumers and professionals have to their phone means that mobile offers the perfect platform for long-term loyalty schemes. Clearly, the opportunity for brands to gain the upper hand in mobile has never been greater.
So if the potential for customer acquisition and loyalty are so huge, why is the industry lagging behind on effective, engaging mobile propositions? It could be a perception that mobile requires major investment, at a time when marketing budgets are tight. Or organisations may feel that they’ve simply missed the boat on mobile.
The fact is, establishing an effective mobile presence can be achieved in just a few simple, low cost steps. The key is to plan well and know exactly what you need for your business, now and in the future. Here are some considerations that will stand you in good stead:
1. Identify your goals
What do you want mobile to do for your business? Inform? Transact? Incentivise? Retain? This will determine the type of mobile activity you need to plan for.
2. mSite or app?
A lot of organisations have the perception that they need one of these two elements to ‘tick the box’ for mobile. Rather than simply select the product you think will be the easiest or cheapest to integrate, consider what your mobile strategy is going to be long term, and work from there. As a very rough measure, apps are best for function and mSites work best for reach, so it’s important to think about what will fit your customers’needs, and your long term goals.
3. Integration, integration, integration
A mobile presence should fit into an integrated, multichannel marketing strategy. Think about what data is being captured by your mobile activities, and how this information needs to fit in your organisation. Will it help to maintain up-to-date customer records? Or do you want to help new customers quickly sign up a new service?
4. Bring it to life
The most important way to engage with customers via mobile is through relevant, interesting, useful content. Think about how you’ll keep customers close and coming back for more.
5. Get the word out
No matter how amazing your new mobile presence is, customers and prospects need to know about it, before they’ll start to engage. Think about how you’ll promote the services available, within your own marketing literature, through PR, or a simple mobile advertising campaign.
If this has given you the appetite to make your mobile mark, take a look at our guide, Establishing a Mobile Presence.
John Stevens is group managing director at 2ergo