The mobile landscape is, well, mobile and constantly growing. According to Forrester Research, the smartphone subscriber market is growing at a five-year 9.5% compound annual growth rate (from 2015 to 2020). In fact, the research firm anticipates that more than 85% of mobile handset subscribers will use a smartphone as their primary phone by 2020.
“It’s a big, big part of the market today,” Stacy Adams, head of marketing for cloud-based animated video platform GoAnimate, said at the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit in Las Vegas.
Still, some marketers haven’t adopted this mobile mindset. According to a 2014 Millward Brown Digital survey of 1,650 mobile phone users on behalf of Mblox, only 58% of companies use mobile technology to connect with consumers, even though 86% of consumers are open to some level of mobile engagement.
Granted, mobile can be complicated. From technological complications to privacy concerns, there are a number of things that make mastering mobile a challenge. Nevertheless, marketers need to learn how to tame the beast if they hope to better connect with consumers. To help marketers enhance their mobile marketing strategies, Adams shared some of her secrets for success. Here are 10.
1. Remember, a mobile strategy shouldn’t just consist of an app you’ve created. According to Nielsen, Facebook, YouTube, and Facebook Messenger reigned as the top smartphone apps in 2015—producing average unique user counts of more than 126.7 million, 97.6 million, and 96.4 million, respectively.
Adams recognizes the unlikelihood of another company’s app surpassing these figures. So, she discourages marketers from putting too many eggs in one basket and having an app-only mobile strategy.
“If your mobile strategy is only an app strategy, you’re doomed for failure,” she says.
2. Think broadly throughout the organization. Mobile is often considered a marketer’s domain; however, Adams says that the most successful organizations view mobile as something that touches the entire organization, including IT and customer service.
3. Focus on moments. Capturing customers’ attention is harder than ever. That’s why Google encourages marketers to take advantage of “micro-moments.” According to the search engine giant’s report “Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile,” micro-moments are when consumers turn to a device, usually their smartphone, to take immediate action. Google categorizes these moments into I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-buy moments, and/or I-want-to-do moments.
To take full advantage of these sparks of attention, Adams advises marketers to deliver experiences that are immediate, relevant, and frictionless. Personalization can help them achieve this. Offering promotions based on consumers’ locations, interests, or the stores that they frequent, she notes, can help deliver this tailored value.
“You have a very short period of time, in most cases, to grasp somebody’s attention and hold on to it,” Adams says. “So using those moments effectively is very important.”
4. Lead with value. Although it may be tempting to hit consumers was a sales opportunity right off the bat, Adams advises marketers to use value to get consumers to engage with their mobile properties, such as alerts when they’re getting close to their data limit, the ability to check their rewards balance, or the flexibility to schedule appointments.
“My philosophy is lead with value and then hit them with an upsell, cross-sell,” she says.
5. Use mobile as a way to facilitate a conversation. Mobile should be more than just a device for pushing out notifications and texts. Adams says marketers should use it as a two-way conversation channel, as well as a method for obtaining feedback, such as through mobile chat services, surveys, and reviews.
6. Be bold and ask for what you want. Want to start marketing to consumers via mobile? Well, you’ll need a phone number to do that. Adams advises marketers to be upfront with what they want and to invite consumers to opt in to their mobile marketing programs the second they acquire a phone number.
7. Consider the message first, not the channel. The secret to driving engagement and conversion is targeting the right audience with the right message at the right time. And that message doesn’t always have to be a delivered via a mobile device. Instead of creating messages around channels, Adams advises marketers to think of what they want to say and how they want to say it first (including what links need to be included); then, once that’s done, consider the best way to deliver it. As she puts it, “Don’t let the device dictate your message.”
8. Speak to customers the way they want to be spoken to. When it comes to communicating with customers, it’s important for marketers to listen to their preferences. According to the aforementioned Millward Brown Digital and Mblox survey, 57% of respondents say email is the best way for businesses to employ mobile. Forty-one percent say the same for text and 38% say the same for phone calls and voice messages. However, other respondents considered mobile completely off limits. In fact, 14% say they don’t want to be contacted via their mobile phones at all—with 64% citing privacy as the main concern.
9. Have a central view of the customer. Today’s customers interact with several different on- and offline channels; however, it’s important for marketers to connect these various touchpoints and create a unified picture. That’s why Adams urges marketers to integrate their multiple data sources and move as close to a centralized data system as possible.
10. View yourself as a consumer, not just a marketer. All marketers are consumers. And being conscious of the types of messages that capture their attention can be helpful—even if they don’t align with their company’s traditional marketing. When Adams receives a message that strikes her, for instance, she writes it down and contemplates how it made her feel.
“Pay attention to that,” she says. “Don’t think it’s not relevant.”