Mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way people do everything from communicate to read the news. Mobile marketing reflects the new ways consumers buy products and services — and the changes are happening at breakneck speed.

The numbers involved are staggering. Research shows that, in Australia, 55 per cent of people aged between 25 and 34 regularly shop using a mobile phone or tablet. Of all device users, 79 per cent have used them to shop at least once.

In developing countries such as India, the rate of growth is even more pronounced. For many people their first experience of the Internet is through a mobile device. Using them for purchases seems very natural, and growth rates are going through the roof. Indeed, by 2018, it’s estimated that the Asia-Pacific region will account for almost 50 per cent of the more than $US600 billion spent globally on goods and services purchased using mobile devices.

For marketers, these trends represent a huge opportunity. Mobile devices offer new ways to connect with customers and learn more about their desires, tastes and spending patterns. A properly planned and implemented mobile marketing campaign can make a big difference to a business’s bottom line.

But where do you start? There are five key areas you need to consider when creating an effective mobile marketing campaign:

      1. Market with cross-channel orchestration. Within the mobile marketing space there are a range of communication options. While mobile apps account for 80 per cent of the time people spend on their devices, they also make use of email and SMS. Rather than just focusing on one channel, effective campaigns combine them all. You might start by encouraging a customer to download an app to their device, but also use push channels such as SMS and email to deliver targeted follow-up messaging;
      2. Use data and signals to improve your mobile strategy. When a customer downloads an app, as a marketer you’re given a great opportunity to capture valuable information. This can include anything from the device type and operating system they are using to when, how and where the app is used. Much of the information is collected automatically and can be used to tailor future communications. Personalised offers can be made which greatly increase the likelihood of future purchases. It’s important, though, to be restrained with the volume of communication so as not to annoy prospective customers;
      3. Create a holistic view of customer interactions. By gathering information from all touch points (email, SMS, apps and web), an even clearer picture of the customer can be obtained. For example, web browsing and purchase history can be used to personalise messaging and provide the opportunity to create unique offers. Rather than marketing to large groups, segmentation can be brought right down to the individual. Here a Data Management Platform (DMP) can help. This software manages marketing spend across a range of channels and tracks campaign success. Using the insights gleaned, marketers can be sure their campaign is being as effective and efficient as possible;
      4. Don’t forget SMS. While attention tends to focus on the development of apps, it’s important not to forget a much older technology: SMS. Even people without smartphones can receive and respond to SMS messages, making it a very effective communication choice. Interestingly, research has found that 90 per cent of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of their receipt. This makes them far more effective than email, and their reach can be further improved when combined with other marketing channels;
      5. Prove the value of your mobile marketing strategy. At the end of the day, every marketing team will have to prove the return on investment for their mobile marketing campaign. For this reason, it’s important to set clear goals from the outset. This could be the number of apps installed, the number of SMS responses or web site visits achieved, or the volume of mobile purchases generated. Having specific goals allows you to track the success of a campaign and quickly make any required changes.

Mobile marketing is a very powerful method of connecting with customers. The ability to personalise messages based on collected data means campaigns can be targeted in ways not previously possible. Interactions can be monitored to determine success and future campaigns built on a sound market understanding.

The future of mobile device marketing is now. Are you ready for it?

About the author: Will Griffith is the Regional Director, Oracle Marketing Cloud.  Oracle Marketing Cloud is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply


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