The Art of Being Mobile: Engaging Customers on the Go

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We live in a mobile world.
We live in a mobile world.

The way consumers access and interact with content on mobile devices has evolved considerably over the last five years. With the advent of smartphones, browsing, purchasing, staying on top of email—be it personal or for work—and keeping up to date with social media and the latest news on-the-go has never been easier. Indeed, recent figures suggest that by 2019, global smartphone penetration will have exploded to 60%, from the 25 to 30% it is today. The prevalence of smartphone and tablet use by today's consumer makes mobile a key channel for marketers to employ, engage, and interact with their audience.

Are you in a mobile state of mind?

Just as data is critical for fueling relevant and engaging campaigns, it's equally critical for you to understand the driving factors behind your customers' mobile mindset when developing your mobile marketing strategy. Knowing how subscribers engage with their devices will help ensure that you're creating a positive user experience for those on-the-go, on their couch, or at their desk.

Here are some questions you should ask to help get into your customers' mobile state of mind:

  • Which of your customers read your emails on their mobile devices?
  • When do your customers read their emails on their mobile devices?
  • What types of phones do your customers use?
  • Do customers make purchases from their mobile devices?
  • What proportion of your customers are making purchases from their mobile devices?
  • How are these figures trending?

Eighty two percent of businesspeople use their mobile device to check email. The way people check their inbox on a smartphone differs from how they check them on other devices, say a tablet or desktop. Time is often at a premium and smartphone owners are likely to review their inbox during their commute or on a break between meetings.

Bringing the mobile experience to life

Another aspect to be considered when bringing a mobile, multichannel strategy to life is the broader customer experience. To connect with customers, brands should look to create an all-encompassing, consistent, and emotional experience from the outset. Interacting with customers before, during, and after a product or service is used or purchased is essential. Equally, understanding when and how to connect with your mobile customers includes considering the actual experience your customers will have on their mobile devices.

As strategies are established, it's important to make sure actual campaigns are optimized for viewing on a mobile phone or tablet. If email, Web pages, or forms are hard to view or slow to load, it will be difficult and often impossible to keep visitors engaged—especially if the information isn't relevant or of value to them. When promoting a purchase or sharing information by email, it's important to consider the experience that is being provided.

Unlocking this behavior can be achieved by testing campaigns in their mobile state. Findings can identify how many subscribers are opening the email campaign, what device they are using, how long they are viewing the email for, and whether or not they are clicking through to links. For example, if it's found that most mobile users will access their device during their commute at 8 a.m.—why not use this information and inject it into future campaigns and make sure to send a compelling and relevant email when they are most likely to see it, read it, and respond to it?

However, testing isn't limited to the time an email is sent or subject line that's used. When creating campaign templates, you should test each asset to ensure the experience is simple, effortless, and engaging. It's more important than ever to send the right message at the right time in the right format to the right person to ensure marketing messages stand out in the inbox.

Understanding when a customer is likely to use their smartphone or tablet, where they will be, and how they will be using it is vital to a mobile marketing strategy. Getting this right could be the difference between an unread email in the inbox, a message sent to the trash—or a browser converted into a buyer.

Using mobile to build on a traditional marketing approach

With the help of modern marketing technology, brands have the opportunity to truly engage customers with one-to-one personalized, real-time messages. While the approach is evolving with the emergence of new online channels, many of our traditional, foundational marketing rules remain true and still apply today.

Rather than replace traditional strategies entirely with new online and mobile channels, consider building on your marketing foundations and extending these offers across the channels you use to engage customers. It's important to recognize that mobile experiences are one part of a multichannel marketing approach that is constantly evolving. As part of an integrated strategy, it has the ability to complement a brand and become a cornerstone of marketing efforts.

Marketers have only begun to scratch the surface of how mobile marketing can be used, but when it reaches its full potential, it will influence and guide customers, giving you another channel that provides relevancy, immediacy, and enables successful engagement with today's “connected consumer.”




Anthony Wilkey is the strategic client director at SmartFocus.

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