Snapchat. WhatsApp. Tumblr. Instagram. It seems that every day, a new must-have mobile app is being downloaded on smartphones and tablets across the globe. In the fast moving world of mobile, it’s hard to keep track of where your customers are spending their time and how to connect with them across the plethora of social networks. Many brands now operate under the impression that it is easiest to develop their own app and have their customers interact with them there, rather than scatter their marketing budget trying to break through and engage on multiple social platforms.
Coupled with the rapid expansion of channels is the proliferation of devices. Smartphones, ‘wearables’ and sensors allow for a highly personalized customer experience because brands can now push content to the many different hardware sources for engagement purposes. Mobile technology moves the power into the hands of consumer, and it increases the demand for simplicity, contextuality and immediacy offered by ‘native’ experiences like Google Now, Uber and Twitter.
So how should brands adapt to the era of mobile disruption?
Five Tips for a Mobile-First Strategy
1. It’s still marketing, just with new channels.
It’s important to remember that the basic tenants of marketing still apply. You need a strategy. You need to identify your target audience. Ask yourself: where is my audience, how are they engaging, what do they want and need? Get to know your customer base by exploring and analyzing mobile behaviors. Only then should you decide on which channels you want to introduce your brand and interact, because you will know that your customers want to engage with your brand there.
2. Authenticity is key.
Mobile devices are inherently personal as they are with their owners 24/7 and reflect individual behaviors and preferences. To many people, their smartphone is like an appendage. Because of this personal, intimate connection that people have with their mobile devices, brands must spend the time to learn about how consumers interact with them. But there’s a fine line to walk, as you cannot be too intrusive. Intrusiveness can actually turn your customer off to your brand. By taking the humble approach and understanding how your brand can be useful to your customer through authentic and meaningful engagements, mobile can be the most effective channel there is to deliver your message and drive sales.
3. Think about your parameters.
When it comes to your mobile marketing strategy, think about how and where your customers will consume the information. The smartphone screen is relatively small – much smaller than a computer or TV screen – so be mindful of that. Your customers may be consuming your content on the go, so use simple language, preferably 12 words or less. You should also assume that your customer will consume your message in 1.5 seconds or less. Which leads us to the next rule…
4. Be compelling.
Conduct behavioral research and figure out how your target audience is using their devices. If you only have a couple of sentences, how will you demand attention and deliver your value proposition in an interactive and compelling way? Make it more visual with less copy, and make your language simple, eloquent and easily digestible. Be a minimalist. Remember, less is more with mobile.
5. Use data to your advantage.
Speaking of research, there is more data than ever before at our fingertips. Use that data to your advantage: track where your audience is, learn how they interact with their device and then use the power of data insights to your advantage. With real-time feedback and engagement, you can tweak your mobile marketing campaigns and make them more effective on the fly. Put strong call to actions in your message and see if they resonate. If your customer is not taking the actions you want, conduct more behavioral research, figure out why and then use that insight to reach your audience in the way that they want to be engaged.
We’re still learning a lot about mobile technologies and how we can leverage the data produced by devices to create smarter customer interactions. Following the five steps I outlined above can help get you closer to your consumer and utilize mobile technologies and platforms in a more meaningful and impactful way. The opportunity for marketers is huge now that most of the world is developing for mobile first experiences.
About the Author
With over 25 years’ industry experience, Alan’s been leading award-winning integrated agency creative departments since 2006. He possesses extensive sector knowledge and is a master of the complete creative process – from brand creation to lead generation. He promotes his passion for big thinking and ‘ideas first, channels second’ mentality within his teams, by always looking for ways to encourage disruptive and brave creative decisions from his clients. Involved in all of Harte Hanks’ creative relationships with global brands including Samsung, Progressive, Bank of America and Sony, Alan loves creating ground-breaking content that wins awards and drives ROI.More Content by Alan Kittle