Swayed by the Numbers

When you do the mobile marketing conference circuit, you get used to brands taking to the stage – if you’re lucky – to tell you about their mobile journey, typically, where they were a couple of years ago, and how far they’ve come since. (The bit about how clever they’ve been is implied, rather than implicitly stated.) 

So it was refreshing to hear the opening speaker at the MMA Forum in London, just now, Peter Markey, CMO at RSA Group. RSA is a big insurance firm, and Markey opened by admitting that he used to be a cynic where mobile marketing was concerned. But he went on to say that his position had changed. And what had changed it were the numbers.

Now if I’m honest, I get a bit fed up of some of the numbers I hear at mobile marketing conferences. Most of them have done the rounds so often that they have lost whatever impact they initially had. But the ones Markey cited seemed more relevant, and more pertinent. One was from research he quoted showing that 23 per cent of consumers would buy insurance on mobile after visiting a mobile site. Another was the fact that RSA is selling between 500 and 700 policies a month on mobile, despite the fact that the company does not have a mobile site for its main brand, more than.

“Consumers are there and we’re not, and that’s a growing concern and we need to address that,” Markey told delegates. “I am changing from the cynic I was saying no mobile marketing will ever work, to saying consumers have convinced me otherwise, we need to act quickly.”

The mobile site, he said, would be ready by the end of the year. By his own admission, Markey’s firm has been slow to get mobile. But respect to him for being brave enough to admit it, and to admit that his initial cynicism about mobile marketing was misplaced.

David Murphy