There’s a big risk in focusing too much on the wonders of a new technology – flexing a new feature too much can cause business leaders and marketers to lose sight of the customer experience that they’re (ultimately) working to optimize.
This loss of focus happens quite frequently, according to a study by Forrester Research. The authors of that study highlighted the many forms that mobile marketing has taken, writing that “marketers can leverage many different tactics from native apps to responsive web design (RWD), augmented reality, or beacons to engage consumers.” The problem comes when these many technologies are deployed without a clear vision of delivering the best customer experience .
Take Responsive Web Design as a key example. This technique allows the same content to be displayed responsively across a wide variety of screen sizes, allowing a user to access the content from any kind of mobile device. However, many marketers fail to consider the type of content being delivered to the user, and how the type of content might change depending on the device the user has in their hand. According to the study, 47 percent of responding marketers reported that their mobile services are “scaled-down versions” of their desktop services, despite the fact that customers don’t necessarily want to see the same content on their mobile devices.
Relatedly, less than half – 46 percent – of the responding marketers reported that they were customizing their promotional emails for users on mobile devices, despite the fact that a vast majority of smartphone owners check their email on their phone on a daily basis. Mobile marketing opens up the opportunity to tailor promotions based on user location and preferences, an opportunity that many marketers miss.
Another issue worth mentioning is underinvestment in mobile search. Well over half of all Google search requests are issued from mobile devices, yet the study found that a mere 34 percent of marketers are using mobile search optimization and only 37 percent of marketers are using using paid searches on mobile devices.
In total, despite there being an every-expanding field of impressive new technologies to engage with end-users, a majority of mobile marketers need to get back to basics and focusing on optimizing their campaigns for mobile devices. The report makes several important recommendations for surmounting this, and for preventing this disconnect from potentially occurring in the future.
Combine context with personalized targeting
As mentioned above, mobile marketing optimization is not just about formatting the same content for display on mobile devices. First and foremost, it has to be about delivering the right content to the right customers for maximum impact. “Go beyond mobile formats and combine context with personalized targeting,” the authors proposed. “Optimizing content to render on a mobile screen is not enough. Instead, shift your approach to actually optimize for mobile by combining contextually relevant content, personalized targeting, and integrated mobile ad creative formats.”
Prioritize customers’ needs and expectations
“Consumers now expect to receive visible value in their mobile moments wherever they are and feel increasingly frustrated when a brand does not deliver what they are looking for in context,” the study explained. Mobile devices are not just another marketing channel among many, in other words – in order to be effective, marketers need to see their campaigns as a vehicle for transforming their user’s experience, both online and offline.
Embrace “mobile moments”
There is a tremendous number of tools tailor-made for specific devices that mobile marketers can take advantage of. The best of these are tools that connect well with how customers already use their mobile phones, such as SMS, in-app messaging, interactive push notifications, and other such forms of engagement. “On Android you can now detect when a consumer is unlocking his phone and send a push notification right after this to maximize app engagement and the likelihood of interactions,” the report explained. Mobile marketers ca also use geolocation and other data that’s collected by apps to serve customers during mobile moments, such as when customers are nearby or when they perform a specific activity on their phones.
Be cautious with the early-adopter bandwagon
“Only mature mobile marketers [who have] already fixed the basics and [are] willing to differentiate should leverage these tactics to engage with the most mobile-savvy consumers,” the authors wrote. “For example, Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza are the poster children for this tactic and tend to integrate every single new mobile technology available. However, they have advanced mobile marketing and CRM strategies and have organized to deliver real-time contextual services.”
In sum, make sure that the right foundations are in place before integrating a new technological vector into your marketing practice. Make sure that that the practices you already employ are making the most impact, deploying all of the new information that mobile marketing provides to make the user experience the best that it can possibly be. Doing so will help build consistency and loyalty, providing a bedrock for further explorations as technology marches on.