Mobile marketing requires much more than scaling down desktop experiences for smaller screens. And as the discipline evolves, the gap between the sleek and the sloppy will only grow more apparent to consumers.
In order to preserve your reputation and distinguish yourself as a mature mobile marketer, focus on developing the following three traits.
With smartphones simultaneous becoming the preferred device in mature markets and remaining the only device in many emerging markets, brands can no longer afford to keep mobile at the perimeter of their marketing plans. Mobile must be deeply integrated with not only marketing technologies, but marketing philosophies as well.
From a philosophical perspective, that means holding mobile to the same standards as any other marketing channel. The time for treating mobile initiatives as pilot projects has passed. Companies should tie any investments to clear performance metrics and expect quantifiable business results.
Alongside this increase in accountability should come a similar boost in budget. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, 8% to 20% of total marketing spend is the optimal mobile allocation range for most brands. (Of course, the ability to confirm the exact right figure for you is yet another incentive to start measuring mobile performance against your other channels.)
Once mobile has been enmeshed in the marketing strategy, the task then shifts to technical integration. The top priority here is syncing up mobile strategies with legacy marketing automation tools. It’s crucial that all available context and customer intelligence be shared before mobile engagement campaigns commence.
These simple but important onboarding activities will form the foundation of any successful mobile marketing strategy.
Personalization is the mandate of modern marketing, and there is perhaps no touchpoint more personal than the smartphone. As a result, successful mobile marketing hinges on presenting customers with messages customized to their unique context.
First, mobile engagement must be tailored to the device itself. Websites need to be adapted for touch navigation, apps need to take advantage of native hardware features, and ad campaigns need to incorporate less intrusive formats. All these subtle refinements combine to create experiences that make perfect sense on their display device.
Next, marketers must shift their attention to who is holding the device. Luckily, mobile users leave plenty of clues for brands smart enough to listen. A passive indicator like geolocation data, for example, could tell you which markets would appreciate your app localization efforts the most. Meanwhile, an active indicator like in-app purchasing history can help identify users who may be most receptive to an app store review request.
There is also a growing marketplace of vendors eager to help brands supplement their existing data resources and scale their personalization efforts. However, having the horsepower to automate mobile engagement in real-time is not always an advantage. Relevance is the ultimate currency in mobile marketing, whether manual or automated, and a few messages perfectly tailored to user intent will always be more valuable than a stream of accurate but inessential distractions.
When a mobile ad or push notification immediately sparks an mCommerce conversion, mobile marketing attribution is easy. But what happens when a user touches three separate channels between that initial message and the final purchase? And what if the purchase itself occurs offline?
The maturation of multichannel attribution models has helped more brands address that first question, but linking mobile behavior to in-store transactions is still a stubborn riddle for most. According to AdRoll, 41% of marketers cite mobile attribution as their greatest stumbling block.
Nevertheless, there are a few creative ways companies can already connect the dots between digital and physical touchpoints. Mobile coupons and QR codes formed the first wave of suitable solutions, and two-thirds of marketers still see them as their most reliable option. Beacon technology, while less prevalent, has also shown promise as a means of building geofences that confirm when mobile users enter the in-store environment.
Future innovation seems to be centered on scaling deterministic attribution, and cross-device attribution could be unlocked soon after that. But brands should not postpone their own progress by waiting for tech vendors to deliver perfection. Acknowledging the circuitous nature of modern customer journeys and implementing even a simplistic multichannel attribution model is still a step in the right direction.
Download 2016 Mobile and App Marketing Trends for additional insights on how innovative brands are approaching mobile and how you can join their ranks.