The Dawning of a New Mobile Era
The era of mobile marketing is fast approaching. With the unlimited array of things that can be done with a mobile device, it's clear that mobile marketing has huge untapped potential. Now that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population carries a mobile phone, businesses would be wise to become part of the burgeoning mobile lifestyle. As more consumers overcome their biases toward printed text on paper, marketers across all industries will have more ways to connect with them — at a lower cost and with better ability to track results than previous marketing tactics.
Digital channels capture enormous amounts of data. Having a strategy to transform this data into customer intelligence is essential. Analytically driven insight enables a better understanding of customer behavior — e.g., what they’ve done in the past as well as what they’ll likely do in the future. Leveraging this insight to improve how, what and when to communicate with customers is critical to the success of a mobile strategy, or any marketing strategy for that matter.
Mobile technology provides three key methods of communication:
- SMS (text messaging), supported by 97 percent of mobile devices;
- the mobile web, viewable through 43 percent of mobile devices; and
- mobile applications, usable on 18 percent of mobile devices.
A successful mobile marketing strategy will employ all three channels and use a mix of tactics that provide both value and personalization. Far more than a customer service tactic, mobile marketing is poised to become an entire platform for managing the customer experience.
For example, Target recently made its weekly ad flier fully customizable for digitally savvy shoppers, who can receive hot deals on products they’re interested in on their mobile device. Instead of having to read the Sunday flier, consumers can simply check "My TargetWeekly" on their phones when visiting Target to see the specials on tap.
Some businesses are also using mobile devices for loyalty programs. Forget the keychain cards. Simply pull up the store’s loyalty card app on your smartphone and scan it. Although still in the early stages, smartphone loyalty card apps will almost certainly become the norm in the near future.