Try leaving home without your mobile phone. Odds are it feels uncomfortable. These little computers haven’t just edged their way into our daily routines; they’ve become our tether to the outside world. And marketers, well aware of the value of literally reaching people in their pockets, have been responding with a resounding strategy to move the sales needle—one offs.
In a world where consumers are bombarded with messages on the train, on their coffee cups, in a car’s navigation system, and in bathroom stalls, the phone is also a deeply personal space for consumers where “interruption marketing” can backfire with more vengeance than in the expected places, so the stakes are even higher for breaking through the clutter and delivering relevant, timely, and appropriate offers in an engaging way. Mobile marketing is now about more than just knowing your audience and can be increasingly complex on the front- and backend.
Take for example contests, where consumer access points must be transparent and broad—not just because of sweepstakes laws, but also based on smartphone user stats, in-store/retail partnership opportunities, and an overall competition for share of voice—and registrants need to be aggregated into a single funnel.
Marketers are becoming more creative, finding new apps, creating new incentives, and providing new abilities in the touchiest of touchpoints—and through all of it they’re getting a reeducation in how important and tricky the offer, timing, targeting, and frequency of consumer engagement is. While we have a long way to go until brands by and large obtain what Forrester recently dubbed “mobile maturity”—keep in mind that the interactive marketing is estimated to be $77 billion or 26% of all advertising by 2016—the experimentation phase is slowly moving in the right direction and brands are aching to move past the expense and headaches of one-offs.
When we speak to our clients in retail or telecom, they are all increasingly asking for capabilities that support all channels with a single messaging platform so that cross-channel efforts can be designed and delivered quickly, automatically, and progressively smarter. While such omni-channel offer optimization platforms exist (forgoing a shameless plug here), we have seen mobile and social act as an even bigger impetus for brands to implement and rethink how the system of matching offers with opportunities can be improved and underline just how important a real-time system is.
And since marketers aren’t soon letting go of television, direct marketing, search, display advertising, email, or social media, it’s imperative that systems are in place for these channels to work together to avoid the resource intensive “one-off” marketing campaign concept.
Mike Caccavale is CEO of Pluris Marketing and an expert in cross-channel offer optimization.