Matching the Content to the Customer in Direct Digital Marketing, Part 2
Late in 2009, many senior marketing folks thought that having an iPhone app just about wrapped up a brand's entire mobile strategy. Not today. We have several platforms — iPhone and Android, plus new/refreshed entrants from BlackBerry and Microsoft, for example — to work with.
In the first installment of this two-part series, I discussed the importance of having a comprehensive mobile strategy in place, one that takes into account multiple mobile devices. Marketers should be less concerned with having a device-specific strategy and instead focus on a unified mobile approach that spans all mobile subchannels. This is key to reaching the mobile-ready consumer in any demographic.
As you craft a mobile strategy for your brand, your delivery system needs to include the ability to offer a device-optimized experience to be most effective. That means the system you choose should have the ability to serve up a mobile website designed around the parameters of the mobile device being used. This flexibility helps to create a rich mobile experience with your brand. If done right, the mobile marketing experience has a very “app-like” feel to it.
This approach is the foundation for hybrid apps. Not only does it optimize the mobile web experience, it can also be distributed through app stores to reach the widest audience possible.
Let’s not forget that there are situations that may be just perfect for using a device-specific app. However, having a hybrid app as part of your overall strategy allows you to reach the widest audience possible across a variety of devices, and it can cost less to build and maintain. What's more, you can get it to market faster.
As you create a comprehensive mobile strategy to support your brand, here are three critical questions to ask your developer. This is new territory here, so be sure you get solid answers before you move forward.
1. Are you able to deliver a device-optimized, rich mobile web experience? Using a content delivery platform that doesn't recognize and adjust to users’ mobile devices can result in a less-than-ideal mobile experience. In fact, a third of mobile internet users in the U.S. are frustrated with their mobile web experience, according to a recent report from eMarketer. Don’t add to that frustration with a delivery platform that doesn’t read well on some devices.
2. Does your mobile partner have the underlying tools and platforms to support device recognition on the fly? If the answer is no, you might not be able to provide the best customer experience. Consumers use their mobile devices for multiple tasks. They may visit your mobile website, as well as read an email from you, all on their mobile devices. No matter what you send them, or where you send it to, it's vital that a mobile partner have the tools necessary to recognize the device in use and quickly optimize that specific experience.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the rapid evolution of the mobile space. What once took weeks to evolve now takes days, so make sure your partner’s mobile device recognition list is updated daily.
3. Do your mobile templates have solid design and technical sophistication? Make sure you have access to the tools and resources necessary to design a mobile template that can emulate and behave in an app-like fashion. The quality of the experience reflects the quality of the brand. Make sure it’s a smooth, professional experience.
Because the mobile channel provides the most personal connection with consumers, it represents an enormous opportunity for marketers. It's essential to choose the right partner that understands all of the aspects of the mobile channel to help put your strategy in motion.