Reaching Mobile Customers

The days of run of the mill advertising, while not yet obsolete, has certainly found some competition (or in some cases, a serious ally) in mobile marketing as a way to reach consumers.

The Mobile phenomenon is massive, to put it lightly. There are just about 5 billion cellphones currently in use all over the world. In the US, 297 people own a cellphone. With numbers like these, its almost hard to believe this took so long to catch on.

“The untethered consumer seeks information or service based on what they’re doing, when and where they’re doing it. For the first time, marketers can link supply and demand with time and location in relation to current and potential and customers.”

Every time we ‘allow’ our smartphones to use our current locations, we are giving companies free reign to use our location in relation to their products or services. Of course, consumers must agree to this type of advertising, but it seems to be an all or nothing kind of phenomenon. I cant exactly say, yes, please use my current location but only send messages to my smart phone once a week. Thanks.

An example of this mobile marketing is AT&T. They are using the location-based mobile marketing platform Placecast to create ShopAlerts to tap into mobile customers. By creating geo-fences around retailers’ locations, highly targeted messages can be delivered to consumers as they get within the perimeter of the particular store or near the point of sale.

Mobile marketing is highly personal, and with that the relationship is delicate. A question for the group is to potentially think about situations where perhaps a company took advantage of their mobile relationship with their customer? Since mobile advertising begins and ends with a consumer’s phone, they really get to decide what goes and what doesn’t. Companies potentially take a risk when engaging in this sort of relationship, because if they cross the line as far as volume of messages, they run the risk of losing an otherwise loyal customer.

The article listed the following steps, as suggestions for companies to stay relevant in the mobile marketing arena:

1.Benchmark current customers’ mobile usage and patterns. Do most of your customers have smartphones? Are they all texting? Do they watch mobile video?
2.Test and Learn. See what works and what doesn’t and go from there. Don’t do nothing.
3.Measure and analyze. Determine your metrics for success and closely monitor how your customers use your mobile offerings.
4.Leverage geo-location. Determine where and when your customers interact with your offerings and leverage that information.
4.Add value to the consumer experience. It’s not about the phone, it’s about the value a company provides.
5.Think service. Create mobile offerings that make life or work cheaper, easier or fun. These are the keys to making a successful mobile app.
6.Avoid the bright shiny object syndrome. Just because a new mobile feature appears to be the latest and greatest, don’t jump onboard immediately. First, measure its potential relevance within your overall mobile strategy .

So lets be the judge. What are some potential pitfalls or mobile advertising becoming the wave of the future? Do we agree with the steps laid out or is there something different companies should be doing? Can we think of some good examples of corporations that have mastered mobile marketing?


2 thoughts on “Reaching Mobile Customers

  1. I think this area of mobile marketing and geo-location based services will see significant growth in services provided and customer usage. Companies like Groupon are leading the way in how customers interact with retailers and make opportunistic purchases based on location based campaigns.
    However recent statistics revealed that 51% of customers would be more likely to purchase from retailers who had a mobile presence or offered mobile based apps and services. But 65% of U.S. retailers did not offer such apps or services.
    Also keep in mind Geo-Location is not the only means to take advantage of mobile marketing. Using tools such as QR codes at physical locations where customers can read the code from a sign and then be presented with more details and special offers.
    Monetizing the mobile services can be achieved by using mobile payment systems that allow you to use a smartphone with an app such as ‘Square’
    to instantly charge by credit card in a totally mobile environment no need for a cash register.

  2. I think the steps the article laid out are good, but they missed one vital component. What’s the desired customer action? I think where marketers fail is in the overall experience. They shouldn’t be using mobile because it’s another medium for which to communicate a desired message. They should use it because it drives business. More specifically, because it enhances the customer’s experience within the purchase funnel (or what some experts are calling the customer feedback loop). Does mobile get my prospects closer to buying? If the answer is yes, the do it.

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