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Keeping tabs on most marketing trends is like an episode of CSI. Clues are subtle and often hidden from plain sight. No one is sure where the twisted trail is leading. And in the end, it takes an expert eye to decipher it all and take action.
On the flip side, there’s mobile marketing. This isn’t CSI, it’s reality TV. Big, loud and inescapable.
Mobile marketing trends are happening right in front of you. In fact, they’re probably happening through you, because it’s likely you’re playing them out in your daily life.
When you used an app to schedule a cab, you accelerated one mobile trend. Then you texted your lunch order and fed into another mobile trend. And when you scanned your glasses prescription to the optical shop, you kept right on trending.
Mobile communications aren’t just changing the way we live; they’re driving our expectations and shaping our mindset. It’s never been easier, faster or safer to stay in touch with those around us.
It’s clear from the following trends that mobile is the new normal.
Mobile is increasingly becoming the “primary screen.” Whether at home, work or play, mobile devices are surpassing PCs as the preferred means of accessing and transmitting information.1 The luxury of controlling how, when and where you manage information has become essential.
Mobile users check their phones more often. There was a time when commodities traders were among the few people obsessively monitoring moment-to-moment data. Today, it’s anyone who wants to know if the bus is on time, or to check the latest replies to their Instagram pics. It’s estimated that most smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day.2
SMS is both accessible and appealing. Digital Buzz reports that over 75% of the world’s 4 billion active mobile phones are SMS-enabled.3 Furthermore, 85% of people respond positively to receiving SMS messages.4 Today, a targeted mobile effort grants you substantially greater access to an audience receptive to your message.
Mobile users like to network locally. Almost two-thirds of smartphone users (61%) make local searches from a device.5 Furthermore, according to a Nielsen smartphone and tablet survey study, 2 out of 3 mobile users notice ads, and are most likely to click on those featuring local businesses and promotions.6
Mobile accelerates the time between intent and action.
74% of smartphone users rely on their phones to help with shopping, and 79% ultimately make a resulting purchase.7 And that buying decision usually happens quickly. Mobile Marketer reports that 70% of mobile searches lead to an individual taking action within one hour.8 Greater access to consumer data concerning that window grants marketers an unprecedented opportunity to study contextual behavior.
Those are certainly compelling numbers. And they spark some challenging questions. What are the implications of these transformative trends on your business? And how can you be certain your mobile marketing efforts are optimizing state-of-the-art tools and best practices?
The following 5 tips may help you to better navigate the changing landscape, more effectively define your marketing goals and connect on a truly meaningful level with your audience.
1. Integrate mobile into your marketing channels.
Make a comprehensive list of both your existing online and offline channels. Then examine how they’re performing, both independently and collectively, in order to integrate mobile for maximum effect. In time, there may be further opportunities to integrate additional tools, like MMS (multimedia message service) programs, mobile coupons or push notifications via mobile apps.
2. Meet your user at the corner of intent and action.
Learn how to map the prospect-customer lifecycle. Refine your understanding of the ways in which your users are interacting with your product and brand via mobile to tailor communications. Leverage the advent of geo-fencing technology to send SMS to opted-in subscribers within targeted areas.
3. Create unique, actionable offers.
One retailer, was able to acquire nearly 20,000 subscribers in less than 20 days by launching its first mobile SMS retail program. Its unique “Welcome Offer” yielded a redemption rate of more than 25%, a striking achievement by industry standards. Their campaign illustrates the success that can result from the strategic pairing of a powerful offer and well-integrated marketing channels.
4. Ensure an optimal user experience.
Fine-tune your responsive design process to make sure that emails and landing pages are mobile-optimized. Research indicates that almost half of mobile users feel frustrated and annoyed when they visit a site that isn’t mobile-friendly.9 It also pays to keep in mind that mobile users have high expectations for speedy load times. In fact, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.10
5. Don’t overlook testing.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make is to pursue their campaigns and strategies with untested assumptions. No matter how sound, innovative and well-resourced your effort, developing a testing strategy is a key phase in the process. Testing ensures that your investment is protected, and may even reveal insights that produce untapped opportunity.