Mobile has received a lot of attention this past year. But marketers still tend to refer to mobile as a separate channel, rather than an integral part of their overall mix. And today’s consumers don’t want to be viewed in silos. They demand that businesses recognize who they are and what they want across all channels and devices. Michael Becker, marketing development and strategic advisor for independent global marketing agency Somo in North America, says mobile plays a vital role in engaging consumers across the entire customer journey. Here are his five ways marketers can make mobile a critical part of the multichannel experience.
Marketers like to toss around the term omnichannel, but not all marketers define omnichannel the same way. Becker says marketers need to think of omnichannel as being responsive to consumers and their needs in any medium, as well as being able to do so at any stage of the customer journey.
“Omnichannel means that you have to be ready to engage and communicate with the consumer at any point in time in a relevant way through any medium,” he says.
Understand consumers’ multiple personas
Part of being omnichannel is understanding consumers’ multiple personas, Becker says. For example, a consumer may have multiple phone numbers or email addresses, but that doesn’t mean that they want brands to contact them via all of these points of contact. Hence, marketers need to rely on data to paint a “complete [and] addressable picture of an individual.”
“[Omnichannel] means to be ready and relevant with the consumer regardless of how they approach you—whether it’s from email, from text message, from a website, [or] from an application,” Becker says. “You need to make sure that you’re telling an appropriate story in a consistent way and that you’re not over-communicating with them in that situation.”
Optimize Email and Websites for mobile
Having mobile-optimized sites and emails is equivalent to “just breathing today,” Becker says. Not doing so, he says, can result in a missed opportunity for engagement.
“Right now 48% of consumers open their emails via a mobile device. Ninety percent of the time the consumer only opens that email on one screen,” Becker says. “If your email is too difficult to read or not optimized and they’ve opened it on their mobile device, they’re going to delete that email, move on, and you’ve lost an opportunity for engagement.”
Provide more value than promotional messaging
While Becker says a discount is a value, he says it’s not the “primary value.” Value, he says, may take on different meanings for different consumers, such as content, educational material, or incentives. Hence, understanding consumers and their needs is vital to identifying what they value most.
“You need to consider the utility and the value the consumer’s looking for a long the way,” he says.
Don’t distress over downloads
App downloads is a metric many mobile marketers tend to home in on. However, Becker says this may not be the best tactic.
“What a lot of marketers don’t take into consideration is that the average app is used less than five times over 90 days,” Becker says. “After that 90 days, it’s not used anymore.”
Instead of focusing on downloads, marketers need to home in on how the app fits into the brand’s broader story and what kind of value and utility the app is providing consumers. Hence, marketers need to view app as a way to establish and retain customers, not just as an initial and individual program.