Harnessing the power of mobile for CRM

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Mike Wehrs
Mike Wehrs
The promise of CRM—treating every customer as an individual—has been largely unrealized to date, until now.  The new mobile devices and smart phones that are starting to emerge are making the promise of individual, tailored marketing via mobile a reality. Never before have brands been able to engage the consumer in a dialogue of interaction in quite a personal way.

The power of the mobile device is inherent. Its target-ability, direct reach to the consumer and location awareness (to name just a few characteristics) has become increasingly attractive to brands over the years. The ability for relevant information to be delivered direct to the end customer presents brands with endless possibilities, from relationship management to the procurement of new customers. In an increasingly hectic world where consumers are more mobile and pressed for time, society has come to expect ‘instant gratification' in many aspects of life, communication via the mobile device is fast developing into the most efficient way to connect with the consumer lifestyle.

Campaigns conducted by mobile marketing and mobile market research companies have demonstrated that consumers are far more likely to respond to satisfaction surveys via text than by email or snail mail. As mobile technology has developed, with larger screen sizes, better web browsing capabilities, faster network speeds and ‘all you can eat' data packages, mobile usage has come to encompass more than just voice and text services. Combine this preference for interaction with the ability to use the mobile channel to deliver relevant and timely information to a customer and brands have a genuinely effective way to engage with their audience.  

In the current economic climate, it's this combination of differentiation, personalization and targeting that offers the better return on investment when compared to other marketing communication channels, translating to far higher conversion rates of communication to sales and establishing a bond between brand and consumer that facilitates customer retention. Mobile has the potential to deliver on the promise of one-to-one marketing and allow a level of engagement and interaction controlled by the consumer that no other channel can deliver. However, the customer experience and the ensuing results for the brand will only be good if the channel is not abused in the same way as email has been in the past.

To this end, the MMA currently has a Global Code of Conduct, designed to help companies effectively and responsibly leverage the mobile channel for marketing purposes, while always protecting the consumer. It's simple, really: messages must always be opted in, tailored to the individual consumer to ensure personalization and relevance, and should offer real value or benefit so that mobile marketing is perceived as something to be looked forward to. Brands must effectively manage and limit mobile messaging programs to a reasonable number, while making a commitment to not share consumer information with non-affiliated third-parties. In short, the consumer should always feel like they are in the driver's seat.
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