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A third of marketers admit to not having a mobile strategy

Posted by Sheera Eby on July 16, 2013

According to a study J&C recently conducted, we found that 1/3 of marketers admitted to not having a defined strategy for mobile. Mobile marketing is a category that has a number of different sub-components. It includes mobile-optimized emails, mobile-designed web and landing pages, mobile advertising, SMS and MMS programs, and mobile apps.

Interestingly, spend for mobile marketing is also on the increase. In the same study, 65% of marketers stated they plan to increase spend on mobile marketing this year.

So marketers plan to spend more, but many don’t have a defined strategy. I believe a large part of this challenge stems from marketers not knowing how to define “mobile marketing.” How do you go about setting a mobile strategy? I believe the best place to start is determining what role mobile should play in the marketing mix, and how users are interacting with your product and brand via mobile.

Here are five categories of how users may be interacting with your products and company via mobile. They consider the entire prospect and customer lifecycle. The categories start with evolving the tactics you are currently utilizing for mobile, consider how to leverage mobile as a new channel, and then examine growing mobile transactions and commerce. While this isn’t a complete blueprint for developing a mobile strategy, it is a place to start in determining what role mobile can play for your product, brands and company.

1. Ensure existing channels are mobile-optimized: mobile-optimized emails, landing pages, website

The first consideration in mobile evolution is ensuring existing channels are optimized for mobile. This includes ensuring email, landing pages and website are mobile-ready. The facts support that mobile-optimized emails are now a point of entry for email marketers.

Adobe reports that 79% of users use their smartphones for reading email, a higher percentage than those who use it for making calls1. Furthermore, 74% of mobile users rely on their mobile devices to check email2. This number is likely to continue to grow, demonstrating the growing need for mobile-optimized emails.

Mobile optimizing is becoming a must for marketers using email. If you’re not mobile optimizing emails, your emails are likely limiting their effectiveness.

2. Mobile as a channel to communicate

Many people think of mobile as a new channel to connect with prospects and customers. And mobile can actually have that ability to be a completely new touchpoint. New channel applications include mobile ads, in-app ads and SMS/MMS programs. I’ll focus on SMS/MMS programs within this category, for purposes of this article.

Most people are familiar with the effectiveness of text messaging. On average, it takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, but 90 seconds to respond to a text message3. SMS/MMS take advantage of the immediacy of the mobile medium. SMS/MMS messaging can be effective at getting users’ attention and are becoming effective components of the marketing mix. It takes time and effort to build a list of mobile subscribers, so check out our one-page case study on building an SMS subscriber base.

Mobile coupons can be considered a sub-category of SMS/MMS messaging. According to eMarketer, 10 times as many coupons are redeemed through mobile as through traditional channels. Mobile coupons are a great mechanism for delivering unique offers to your subscribers as well as providing significant tracking.

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3. Mobile for many people equals apps

Apps can be an effective communications channel, but also an effective way to interact with your website, content, products and ultimately transactions. According to Nielsen, 64% of mobile phone time is spent on apps. Turns out apps aren’t dead. Many thought HTML5 would make apps extinct.

Apps are a useful mechanism to deliver push-notifications and allow people to allow users to interact with your product and brands. Developing an app requires the same strategy and discipline as other marketing communications activities. First determine the goal. Is it an app for web browsing and content delivery, or is it a commitment and movement toward increasing mobile transactions and creation of mobile commerce? Then staying the course and following through on a user-friendly app that meets the objectives.

4. Supporting mobile transactions and mobile commerce

According to Google Think Insights, almost half of mobile users feel frustrated and annoyed when they visit a site that’s not mobile-friendly. And 38% of mobile users are willing to wait 30 seconds or less for a transaction.

Mobile browsing and mobile commerce are growing. According to IBM, 24% of consumers accessed an online shopping site using mobile during Black Friday in 2012.

Ensuring a cohesive mobile user experience is becoming a point of entry for marketers. Although it can be thought of as the last mile for many mobile marketers, it can also be thought of as one of the most critical links for marketers.

5. Helping you get found

Starting at the top of the funnel, consideration should be given to mobile search. As Wikipedia has stated, “Mobile search is important for the usability of mobile content for the same reasons as internet search engines became important to the usability of internet content.”

Turns out mobile search isn’t identical to desktop search. There are a number of differences, including things such as local being more prominent in mobile. The reality is that in 2012 Google took home a significant portion of advertising dollars from mobile. Mobile search should be considered in the entire search mix.

Lastly, remember nothing works alone. All channels work better and more effectively together than as a stand-alone effort. For example, 56% of mobile purchases motivated by marketing were inspired by email demonstrating the power of integration.

To learn more about how to evolve and shape your mobile strategy, check out our mobile marketing ebook. [add link once live]

1. Adobe 2013 Digital Publishing Report: Retail Apps & Buying Habits
2. Google Think Insights
3. CTIA.org

Mobile Marketing

Topics: Mobile

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